Suburbs hit by surge in ‘contact crime’ in holiday month of April

2014-05-19 00:00

A STAGGERING 28% surge in contact crimes, including armed robberies and hijackings, has plagued Durban suburbs over the April period.

This is according to statistics released by security company Blue Security.

Operations director for the company, Hank van Bemmelen, said statistics revealed a rise in contact crimes such as armed robbery, hijacking and assault during the month.

“There were 32 armed robberies and hijackings reported during the month of April compared to 22 in March. The last time such a high number of contact crimes were recorded was after the festive season that saw 31 contact crimes perpetrated in January,” he said.

“The upsurge in these crimes could possibly be partly attributed to the fact that it was a month full of holidays when criminals may have anticipated that many people would be away and that homes and business premises would be left empty,” Van Bemmelen said.

Incidents were reported to have taken place in areas such as Chatsworth, Clare Estate, Hillcrest, Glenmore, Pinetown, Warner Beach, Glen Anil and Mount Edgecombe, among other areas.

DA councillor Tex Collins said that crime in the Hillcrest area had been decreasing.

“Clearly crime has been decreasing and there has been a significant change and the decrease is due to the community’s involvement in events and street patrol functions. The SAPS in the area can only be good as the community around them,” he said.

Worst hit areas with multiple incidents included Pinetown, New Germany, Glen Anil, Clare Estate and Morningside.

Ward 27 councillor Martin Meyer said there was a notable increase in contact crimes in the area but that the community was working to fight back.

“With the community policing forum we have been carrying out visibility patrols with the metro police and SAPS and targeting areas which we saw most affected.

“There has also been a cutback in police presence, which has also contributed to the recent spike in crimes in the area,” he said.

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