Police warn of hotspots as crime spikes

2017-05-10 13:30
One of the crime hotspots near the Chatterton Road off-ramp from the N3 northbound that Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo has warned the public, especially pedestrians, to avoid at night.

One of the crime hotspots near the Chatterton Road off-ramp from the N3 northbound that Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo has warned the public, especially pedestrians, to avoid at night. (Ian Carbutt)

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Local police have warned residents of Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas about the increase in hijackings, muggings and business robberies across the city.

Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo warned the public to refrain from using the thoroughfare at the intersection of Victoria and Retief streets that leads to the N3 freeway.

She said pedestrians and employees of the Liberty Midlands Mall should refrain from walking on this pathway because the area has become a crime hotspot and was never designated as a thoroughfare as it did not have sufficient lighting.

“Criminals have been targeting pedestrians after hours and escaping into the bush that surrounds the thoroughfare.

“We appeal to the public to avoid that area and to always walk in groups,” she said.

Khonjelwayo said there had also been a huge increase in hijackings in the city and urged motorists to be more vigilant and cautious when parking their vehicles.

“Theft of motor vehicles cases are becoming a problem in the CBD especially in Pietermaritz and Retief streets,” said Khonjelwayo.

Khonjelwayo advised motorists to avoid parking their vehicles where there are no security officers guarding other cars and not to leave firearms in the cubbyhole or anywhere in the vehicle as this is against the law.

She said motorists should make sure that all doors and windows are properly closed and locked.

“Make sure your valuable items such as laptops, cameras and bags are put in the boot,” she said.

She also warned truck drivers not to leave their trucks unlocked when doing deliveries.

Khonjelwayo said they have identified a growing trend of criminals breaking into businesses by going in through the roof.

“This is why we are appealing to business owners to take all the necessary precautions in safe guarding their property,” she said.

She advised business owners to take preventative measures like putting up structures on the roof, cordoning off the roof with barbed wire if possible or ensuring that the roof is not easily accessible in order to avoid being an easy target for the criminals.

“We also urged business and home owners to upgrade their security systems, and also install burglar guards,” she said.


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