‘Police depend on community to be their eyes and ears on the ground’

2016-06-15 11:20

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Pietermaritzburg - With an entire community struck by a wave of crime, police on Tuesday provided proactive tips to secure a home as they up their game in the hunt for criminals.

The Witness reported a spike in crime in the northern suburbs, with a host of home burglaries and robberies in the Northdale and Raisethorpe areas especially.

Police said they have increased their patrols in the targeted areas and are actively rolling out crime prevention strategies to curb the crimes.

In the meanwhile, police have offered advice to residents to deter criminals from targeting their homes.
• Deterring criminals

According to the police’s Crime Intelligence unit, the criminals plaguing the suburbs are opportunists, who keep watch for the presence of police and private security vehicles.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said regular police patrols are being conducted, however as soon as the police vehicle drives off to patrol another section, the criminals strike.

Ebrahim said to deter this, community policing partnerships must be created within all the sectors of the community. “The police depend on the community to be their eyes and ears on the ground, by being fully alert and aware of suspicious persons or vehicles,” Ebrahim said.

“The establishment of community neighbourhood watches and the installation of CCTV cameras at businesses and residential premises results in the property being monitored 24 hours and deters criminals from striking.”

Ebrahim said watch dogs and alarm systems are also of “paramount importance”.
• How to get your stolen items back

In many cases, stolen property is sold to second-hand dealers, like pawn shops, by criminals falsely identifying themselves as the owners of the stolen property.

Ebrahim said victims of robberies should visit local second-hand traders as soon as possible, and if their item is identified, notify the business owner and report it to the investigating officer on the case.

With regards to household items such as appliances, computers and cellphones, a proper description of each item, including the item’s serial number, should be recorded and kept safely.

“This will greatly assist in the investigation,” Ebrahim said.

With regards to cellphones, which are common targets for criminals, owners are urged to have their device’s IMEI, or identification numbers recorded. To get a device’s IMEI number, dial *#06#.

Anyone with positive information for the police regarding criminal activities in the northern suburbs can contact the Mountain Rise police station’s duty officer at 079 500 1269 or Brigadier Boxer Pillay at 082 418 2018.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  community  |  saps

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