Living in a gated estate no guarantee of safety - expert

2016-06-02 21:05
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Durban – A senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has cautioned that living in a gated estate did not mean complete safety.

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, senior researcher for the Governance Crime Justice Division at ISS Johan Burger said criminals were always on the lookout for opportunities to strike, but also focussed on opportunities "that will make the risk of crime worth their while".

Burger's comments come after the upmarket luxury estate Zimbali, north of Durban was on Wednesday infiltrated by two armed assailants, leaving one of its residents with an open head wound.

The resident was attacked at 05:00 when he and his wife were approached by two unknown men at gunpoint, police spokesperson Lieutenant Shooz Magudulela said.

Magudulela said the assailants threatened to kill the man when a fight broke out between them.

"One suspect opened fire and assaulted the complainant on the head with the firearm. He sustained an open wound on the head and was taken to hospital for medical attention. The suspects fled the scene on foot and nothing was taken."

A case of attempted murder was opened at Umhlali police station for investigation. No arrests have been made.

When approached, the Zimbali Estate Management Association (Zema) declined to comment. The estate is home to the likes of former SA cricketer Shaun Pollock and singer Patricia Lewis. 

Not safe in your estate

Burger said robbers targeted homes that "appear to have a sense of wealth".

"They look for indications of this in the form of homes and types of cars. An estate of this type is known for housing wealthy people. That in itself makes it a good target.

Burger said people have a false sense of security with deterrents such as high walls and access gates.

"This works for the basic criminal, but they are organised criminals who would recruit members of security companies, especially [the] security for your property. They either recruit or plant someone in that area."

Burger said well-oiled criminal organisations are made up of a range of experts, however they also analysed the home they would infiltrate.

"They will map the movements of the home. They will know who lives in the home, possible risks of attacking, [and whether the] inhabitants [would be] prepared to resist? They will map out patterns and thereafter strike."

Burger said criminals first seek out cash and jewellery – thereafter any other easy to carry items that could be sold on the black market. 

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  security

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