LPRs help curb break-ins

2016-09-13 06:00

Active neighbourhood watches, licence plate recognition networks and strong partnerships are some of the reasons being cited for the drop in house burglaries.

The decrease, which was recorded in the recently released 2015/2016 crime statistics, showed a drop from 700 to 539 reported cases in the Cape Town Central precinct and from 327 to 314 reported cases in the Sea Point precinct. This is the lowest recorded number of burglaries at residential properties for each precinct in the last ten years.

Cape Town Central Community Policing Forum chairperson Nicola Jowell says there are a number of reasons for the reduction in burglaries.

“Credit must go to all the partners who are working together with the police on these issues. Increased visibility and patrols from police have been a direct contributor. We also need to thank our neighbourhood watches – their patrols and interventions are a fantastic disruption tool. There is no doubt that the LPR cameras have also played a huge role. The neighbourhood watch volunteers coupled with cameras are a formidable force,” she says.

“We are extremely pleased at the drop in the number of house break-ins. One needs to see it that there are 23% less people who have this type of invasive and traumatic crime happen to them.”

Sea Point CPF chairperson Heather Tager says the drop in burglary at residential premises is due to awareness and integrated high density operations.

“The Sea Point Improvement District’s LPR cameras have played a large part in assisting the police with arrests. Increased visible policing and intelligence-driven crime prevention operations play an important role in the reduction of crime.”

But despite the successes in reducing burglaries, other property-related crimes remain a concern, says Sea Point police station commander, Colonel Maehla Lento. “A main concern is theft out of motor vehicles. Criminals find it very easy to target motor vehicles parked on the street. However, we are happy that one of the most violent crimes, robbery with aggravating circumstances, has decreased as well as house break-ins.”

Theft out of vehicles remains a major concern, Jowell agrees.

“Despite awareness, patrols and great arrests, we are unable to curb the consistent increase in the numbers. We need the community to assist us with this. Currently it is quite lucrative for criminals to be breaking into vehicles, because all too often valuables are left inside. Our cars are easy targets and to a cold, hungry or desperate person even an old jacket could be enough of a reason to break a window,” she says.

“The increase in the number of remote jamming incidents is a concern. We need to educate everyone that this crime is happening everywhere and no street or parking garage is immune. The partnership to stamp out crime needs to extend to every single person, and we can then combat the car break-ins – if we are all aware and doing what is needed.”

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