Attempt to curb vehicle theft

2019-08-27 06:01
Help Maurice Paliaga find his bike. It is a secondhand Honda that he bought three months ago.

Help Maurice Paliaga find his bike. It is a secondhand Honda that he bought three months ago.

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The planned license plate recognition (LPR) cameras in Lower Woodstock will come at a time when there is an alarming number of vehicle-related incidents in the area as well as in the CBD.

The R400 000 LPR project is intended to be implemented before the end of this year and will see nine cameras being installed.

Woodstock police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Hilton Malila says: “If we can use the LPR cameras more optimally, it will be of great help to the police. Criminals use open bakkies to transport motorbikes out of the area and sometimes they tow the motorbike with another bike they came with.”

He says police officers discovered that motorbikes are being stolen from pavements or from stoops of residence.

A recent victim is Maurice Paliaga.

His bike was stolen while parked outside the house of a friend he was visiting on Saturday 10 August at around 18:50. He says the CCTV cameras available in the area could only give leads but not all the information regarding the suspect or the registration of the scooter that was involved in the crime. Paliaga says according to an eyewitness, two people were involved and were seen on Albert Road towards Salt River Circle “but from there we lose track.”

“It is really starting to hurt the biking community especially since so many have opted for motorcycle transport in Cape Town as we get more gridlocked with traffic,” Paliaga says.

Dave Bryant, councillor for ward 115, says the installation of LPR could curb the problem of motorcycle theft.

“It is not a perfect science, but the idea is to cover most of the area. The idea is to form a kind of net around the area so that if cars come in or get out, they should at least be picked up by one of the cameras. A lot of serious crimes committed involved a vehicle.”

Bryant says the contractors have assessed and identified structures where the cameras will be installed. He says it will be those identified as hotspots but would not be disclosed before final stages.

“The infrastructure is getting set-up already,” Bryant says.

He says it has been discovered that it is the areas without LPR’s that are targeted by the criminals and mostly are the areas where residents would not be able to afford this type of security system on their own.

The issue of car-related crimes is also reported in the CBD where Captain Ezra October, spokesperson for Cape Town central police says law enforcement agencies are battling similar issues within the precinct, warning motorists and cyclists to always be vigilant.

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