Visibility curbs crime

2015-05-19 06:00
Commander of Steenberg police station Colonel Herman Seals addressed Heathfield residents at an imbizo. 

astrid februarie

Commander of Steenberg police station Colonel Herman Seals addressed Heathfield residents at an imbizo. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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Working together to create a safer living environment for all, is the main objective of the community and police in Heathfield.

This was revealed last week at an imbizo hosted by the Steenberg police.

Station commander of Steenberg police station colonel Herman Seals discussed the role of the police in the community in fighting crime.

Seals explained that the police station consisted of three components, namely visible policing, detectives and support services.

“With all these components we are able to provide a service to the community of Steenberg, which consists of four sectors,” he said.

The police station has 75 visible police officers who work on shifts. They are divided into sectors and are available on a 24-hour basis. There are also 28 detectives and 123 support members.

“Each sector has a sector commander who is responsible for the operations in his respective sector,” he said.

Warrant Officer Nicolene Davids, sector commander for sector 1, reported at the meeting that there had been an increase in house break-ins, mainly in sector 1.

“We have increased our patrolling hours to monitor the areas and streets where the house break-ins have occurred,” she said.

Officers are now patrolling from 05:00 in the morning to ensure more visible policing to deter burglars.

“Since we have increased our visibility we can say gladly there was only one house break-in reported in the last month,” Davids said.

“We urge residents to look after their own properties, but also that of their neighbours.

By creating Whats­App groups, street committees and neighbourhood watches can stay in touch with one another and help curb crime in the community,” she said.

Seals shared Davids’s sentiment and said that “when taking this into consideration, along with private security companies, we can deter opportunistic criminals from entering the area to commit various crimes.”

Davids said private security companies used to share intelligence with the police in the past, the police were again trying to build that partnership with the security companies.

“The information they provide us helps us in establishing the various hotspots and we can then focus on those areas in future,” she said.

Seals highlighted the importance of reporting crime as he has found that many residents did not report crime but were quick to point a finger at the police for not doing their job.

“We can only act if and when we are informed about crime.

“Once we know about the incidents we can then set up operations and monitor those areas,” he said.

“We urge the community to be our eyes and ears and to support us as we will support them,” he said

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