Robbery victims urged to report crimes

2015-07-19 14:20
The False Bay coastline. (File)

The False Bay coastline. (File) (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - Victims of street and beach robberies in Cape Town must report the crimes for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, the city said on Sunday.

“The victims of crime have to stand up to their assailants,” mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said.

“Successful prosecutions hinge on evidence and victims of crime are crucial links in the prosecutorial chain.”

Smith cited a case this week where three teenage boys were arrested in connection with a spate of robberies between Sunrise and Sonwabi beaches. However, none of their alleged victims were prepared to lay charges and the three were released.

“As a result, the suspects remain free and will more than likely continue committing crimes.”

Losing faith in the criminal justice system

Smith said there seemed to be two reasons behind the victims' refusal to lay charges.

 “There might be anxiety or nerves that there will be a threat to their safety. They are so afraid of crime and possible repercussions,” he said.

He said people did not want the aggravation of spending time at a police station or going to court.

“People have lost faith in the criminal justice system.”

Smith said this lack of action defeated the process.

There had been an increase in robberies on False Bay beaches, where robbers hid in dunes inaccessible to patrol vehicles.

Similar robberies were taking place in Long Street, central Cape Town, where people were having their bags snatched or other items stolen by pickpockets. About a month ago, in an effort to make reporting crime easier, a kiosk was set up where people could open cases.

“I would like to appeal to the public to assist us by laying charges and appearing in court when called upon to testify,” said Smith.

“Without their co-operation, the good work of our officers as well as the South African Police Service will come to naught. Fighting crime is everyone’s business.”

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town  |  crime

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