Little trust in police crime report

2019-09-24 06:00

Residents had the chance to have their say on the crime statistics since the official release on Thursday 12 September by police minister, Bheki Cele.

Petrus Davids from Retreat expressed his concern for the number of robberies that take place in the area, especially around the railway tracks between Retreat and Steenberg stations. “Train robberies are still happening on this section between Steenberg and Retreat. People who are going to the mall use this short cut and the other one further down. They (officials) keep saying they’re going to close these pathways but they never do. This is where people get robbed the most and by using them (short cuts), you put yourself in danger.”

Another resident of Retreat echoed his sentiments adding that the crime statistics are incorrect, in his opinion, as many of them go unreported. “All the statistics are not there. People get robbed here daily, those that cross the train here after 19:00, but they don’t want to go open the case because they know it’s hopeless – they’re not going to get their phone back or whatever.”

The resident added that he was personally aware of several rape incidents that have taken place in the area, which have also gone unreported. “I know four girls who have been gang-raped who don’t want to say anything because the gangs threaten them – and they will kill them.”

He added that people in Steenberg, Retreat and surrounds have become accustomed to crime and often don’t take note of crimes anymore, sometimes even severe crimes. “Last Sunday morning a robbery happened there by the line. An old man was thrown with petrol and robbed. Why did nobody report about that?”

He attributed the rise in crime to the gangs, particularly the Junkie Funkies, who have taken domain of a large area.

“This area was reserved before, but now it’s infected with gangsterism,” he said, adding that gangsterism is glamourised and many young boys are falling victim to it.

Steenberg’s Jody Jacobs said she also experiences crime in her area but she is thankful that it is not as bad as it is in Lavender Hill, Seawinds and Hillview.

A Hillview resident said that St Swithin Road is inhabited by many gang members; the criminal elements that put children and families at risk constantly.

The main concern among residents collectively is the use, distribution and recruitment of young people to sell drugs by gangs, and the crime that results from this, such as robbery and murder – statistics they feel are not accurately represented by the annual crime report for 2018/2019.

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