Rubbish bins are easy pickings for thieves

2015-05-19 06:00
The community of Steenberg are encouraged to join their local neighbourhood watches in their fight against crime. 

PHOTO: 
chevon booysen

The community of Steenberg are encouraged to join their local neighbourhood watches in their fight against crime. PHOTO: chevon booysen

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Bin pushers, theft out of cars and the reporting of crimes were some of the issues highlighted at a meeting in Steenberg last week.

The subforum committee of Steenberg sector 3, along with a local police officer, discussed ways to make the area a safer place for residents.

The subforum is made up of several neighbourhood watches, including the watch of Beethoven and surrounding streets, Harmony Neighbourhood Watch and Allenby Neighbourhood Watch.

Warrant officer Donovan Constant reported at the meeting that there were 12 incidents of crime in the first week of May.

These include theft out of cars, house break-ins and stolen bicycles and bins.

“The crime rate in this community is of great concern to me and I take every incident to heart,” he said.

Constant said black refuse bins were stolen and then used by criminals to carry stolen property such as cables and to collect rubble which he said was “later dumped somewhere else”.

“I would like to encourage the community to report it to the police if they see that their bin is missing or if they see someone using bins which do not belong to them,” he said.

Allan de Koker, chairperson of the subforum, urged residents to look out for their neighbours by pulling their bins into their property on collection day after the refuse truck had removed the rubbish.

“As a neighbourhood watch we do not only patrol and monitor our streets, we have to look out for one another too. We must be proactive and not do something after the crime has been committed only,” he said.

Constant said the police were now also conducting stop-and-searches if they saw someone with a bin and it looked out of character for the person to be pushing the bin down the road.

“We have come across people who have stolen cables in the bins and this is state property. We must be vigilant at all times as even something such as stolen cables has an effect on the community,” he said.

After the recent incidents of theft out of cars a man was arrested, Constant said, which led to a decrease in this type of crime.

Constant said not all crime was reported. This was of major concern to the police.

“If crime is not reported we are not aware of the incidents. We ask people to come forward and report crime. This will help the police to monitor hotspots which are pointed out by the community. We can then focus on these areas,” he said.

De Koker said this would also help the neighbourhood watch to monitor these areas and to easily identify the key issues which they could then address with the police.

“We also urge the public to join us in our cause to create a safer environment,” he said.

Constant added that the subforum was tasked with coming up with its own community project in an effort to make a difference in the community.

“We want people to know about the neighbourhood watch and that they are part of the community,” he said.

De Koker said that they would host various fundraising events to help them to fulfil their tasks in the community.

“We encourage residents to support us when we host these events as it is to the betterment of the community,” he added

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