Crime clampdown

2015-10-06 06:00
Warrant officer Goliath Botman of Wynberg police station looks on as cars are pulled over during a roadblock.  

astrid februarie

Warrant officer Goliath Botman of Wynberg police station looks on as cars are pulled over during a roadblock. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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The Wynberg police cluster, which comprises eleven police stations ranging from Mowbray to Ocean View, has reported a noticeable decrease in most of its crime categories.

This was revealed in the police statistics for the year until March.

Captain Angie Latchman, spokesperson of the Wynberg police cluster, says car-jacking and robbery with aggravated circumstances remain a cause for concern.

“Most of the robbery cases were in the form of street robberies in the vicinity of transport interchanges, businesses or when victims arrive home in their driveways,” she says.

Latchman says the area has a large student population and many of them are targets.

She adds that most of the perpetrators are from outside the area, which makes finding and arresting them difficult.

“Most of these incidents are related to street robberies where victims were confronted whilst walking alone, approached from behind and robbed of personal belongings.

“Suspects were groups of two or three persons,” she says.

Warrant Officer Keith Chandler, spokesperson of Diep River police station, says three factors have contributed the most to the decrease in crime in the Diep River area.

One is the additional help from the police’s auxiliary forces, like reservists.

“Detectives have closed cases on arrests and have linked suspects to other cases – thus a longer jail time. Neighbourhood watches have also helped identify suspicious persons,” Chandler says.

Chandler says without the support they receive from the neighbourhood watches police would be unable to be effective in crime prevention.

He encourages businesses to get more involved in community crime awareness as “a lot of crimes occur when their customers frequent their establishments”.

“Far too many businesses do not get involved in the community. A major hotspot is the Plumstead central business district, yet not one of these businesses assist the Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch,” he says.

The crime statistics revealed that both Wynberg and Diep River police stations experienced a reduction in burglary at residential premises for the 2014/2015 financial year.
Wynberg police reduced residential burglaries by 141 cases while Diep River police had 627 cases reported during this financial year compared to 646 cases in the previous year.
Meanwhile Kirstenhof police had significant increase in residential burglaries with 62 more cases reported.

The statistics also revealed that Wynberg Police Station is the only station in the cluster which managed to increase the amount of arrests for drug-related crimes.

Last year the station had 563 arrests cases and 574 in the last financial year.

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