THE importance of opening a case for petty crime has once again been highlighted. In the first instance, a suspect accused of stealing a supermarket trolley was positively linked to a murder in Empangeni. Reportedly the suspect had escaped from jail in March and has been hiding in Amanzimtoti ever since. In the second instance, Amanzimtoti SAPS detective branch highlighted a recent case, where a suspect arrested for being in possession of a small amount of dagga, has been positively linked to a murder investigation. No matter how trivial the matter, the case must still be reported as suspects in trivial matters can often be linked to more serious cases. The Amanzimtoti SAPS detective branch has a dedicated detective dealing exclusively with linkage. If the public doesn’t report crime, the matters can’t be investigated and crime will continue.Although it will require some of the public’s time in court, it is normally only one day. There are, however, cases where the attorney might deliberately attempt to stall a case in order to force the complainant to drop the case. SAPS request that the public give up a little of their time as they have done their part and it is totally out of their hands. New processes being implemented is also assisting detectives to link more cases. Besides fingerprints, buccal samples are now taken of all suspects, which can lead to arrest for previous crimes. Cases can also be linked by studying the modus operandi (how a crime is executed) of a particular suspect. SAPS also use cases reported to identify crime hot spots and police vehicles are deployed accordingly.Another good reason to report crime is for the recovery of stolen property, the police would not know it is yours, if you have not reported it stolen. A SAPS clerk checks goods recovered against serial numbers reported. The public is advised to record serial numbers of valuable items and keep them in a safe place. In a recent case a television recovered in Cape Town was traced to Amanzimtoti. It is important to make sure the crime scene is visited by the police and fingerprints are taken. It is important to note that local police do not have a local fingerprints branch, the finger print experts are stationed in Durban for the cluster. As cases come in, the experts work their way down from the cluster. If it is reported late in a day, experts will likely only visit the next day. It should, however, not take three days for them to arrive. Once a case is opened and a document is registered, the complainant will receive an SMS with their docket number, they are invited to call Amanzimtoti detectives to follow up on fingerprints on 031 913 1324.The public is further asked to attend the sector meetings for their residential area. Sector 1 (including Amanzimtoti Golf Course from Umbogontwini River up to Seadoone Road and Boundary Lane) meets the first Tuesday of every month and Sector 2 (includes the areas further south up to Mzimbazi River-Karridene) meets the first Wednesday of every month for one hour which is 6pm to 7pm. This is the platform where crime for the previous month is discussed and hotspots identified. Armed response units and CCPO attend these meetings where crimes reported are being analysed and joint operations discussed. Further information for clarification can be found on the Facebook pages of both Sector 1 and Sector 2.The public is advised to record serial numbers of valuable items and keep them in a safe place. In a recent case a television recovered in Cape Town was traced to Amanzimtoti.