More street robberies

2016-10-11 15:25

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Lansdowne police and the suburb’s community policing forum (CPF) have expressed concern over escalating crime in the area.

And since this trend has sparked concern, police are urging residents to remain vigilant and to avoid becoming easy prey for opportunistic criminals.

Lansdowne CPF spokesperson Rafique Foflonker confirms street robberies are becoming a common occurrence.

“Street robberies are increasing throughout our area. Criminals are targeting cellphones and portable electronic items (such as laptops, tablets). September’s robberies appeared to be concentrated around the station areas and along our main roads. Police are responding by stepping up visible patrols in these areas,” he says.

He also warns community members “to take care when displaying mobile electronic devices and earphone cables in public”.

Lansdowne police spokesperson Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka says “street robberies in the Lansdowne police precinct are continuing to be problematic”.

“We encourage people to be vigilant when walking on the street. If [you] can, please have a walking buddy when going to the train station, bus stop or the shop as the perpetrators are targeting people walking alone,” Mnyaka says.

Asked whether victims report these crimes as often as they do occur, Mnyaka says “victims have their own reasons [for] not reporting the crime to the police”.

“However, we encourage them to come and report to enable us to place resources where needed and also task other law enforcement agencies to be visible in those problematic areas.”

Foflonker adds house break-ins have increased in sector 2, which comprises the Rondebosch East and Kenwyn areas. He explains the police station commander and sector manager are looking at ways to combat the trend.

“The community is requested to support neighbourhood watch efforts to increase morning and daytime patrols during the work week. Neighbours must also get to know each other so we can look out for one another,” Foflonker urges.

Mnyaka also encourages residents to get to know their neighbours.

“We ensure that the patrol vehicles patrol the street according to an operational plan. We encourage residents to talk among themselves – tell your neighbour when leaving the house and have contact numbers of your neighbour. In most incidents we found that neighbours don’t know each other,” he says.

They add that joint operations with other law enforcement agencies and community safety structures are held to curb these robberies by holding car check points and stop-and-searches.

Foflonker further confirms that car thefts have decreased at train stations after police intervention with the informal trade in the immediate area.

“However, it has migrated to the areas around the night clubs and pubs. Please secure your cars with anti-theft devices to prevent it from being stolen,” Foflonker advises. Mnyaka confirms seven suspects were arrested during September for committing street robberies.

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