Despite an overall decrease in crime in the precinct, Cape Town Central has remained as the station with the highest number of crimes in the country for the top 17 most serious crime categories.
The policing precinct topped the list of the annual police crime statistics made public last week, for the second year in a row (“SA’s crime capital”, People’s Post, 31 October).
For the period of April 2017 to March this year, Cape Town Central had 15 422 cases reported under the priority crime categories.
This is a 3.3% drop from the 15 952 cases reported in the April 2016 to March 2017 year.
The next highest ranking police precinct was Johannesburg Central, with a total of 12 221 reported cases – a 6.3% decrease from the 13 044 reported in the previous period.
Cape Town Central police had not commented at the time of going to print.
Cape Town Central Community Policing Forum chairperson, Marc Truss, says the statistics are of the priority crime categories, and “do not reflect an accurate synopsis of the actual crime taking place in our area”.
“At a glance [the statistics are] definitely not something to be proud of. We may have reduced incidents of crime throughout the various categories, but it still indicates that we are not doing enough to curtail acts of criminal intent. As to the ‘type’ of crime related to our areas of concern, a review of all active policing measures needs to be addressed to make a proper impact,” he says.
“When one reads the stats, the numbers do not look favourable at all. Yet when one breaks down the actual acts of crime under the specific category, we are making headway in reducing crime through the many associations that have been established through a public/private partnership.”
Truss believes the CPF and local police will need to “re-evaluate the proactive approach in combating crime” under the top 17 crime categories.
In the Cape Town Central policing precinct, murders dropped from 11 cases to eight. Sexual offences increased from 47 reported cases to 52. Both common assault and common robbery increased by 5.3% and 3.1% respectively. House break-ins decreased by almost 19% to 558. Thefts out of vehicles increased to 3956 cases compared to 3770 in the previous year.
In the Sea Point policing precinct sexual offences increased from 12 cases to 15.
Robbery at residential properties increased from six cases to 16; however, Sea Point police spokesperson Captain Elizabeth Munro says officers have since apprehended the group responsible for these robberies.
Burglaries at residential properties decreased from 138 to 88 reported cases.
Drug-related crime in the precinct also dropped, from 990 cases to 743, which Munro attributes to visible policing.
“Drug dealers [have] felt threatened by the frequent visible policing,” she says.
In the Camps Bay policing precinct one murder took place, along with 21 assault cases – the same as the previous two years.
Robbery increased from 19 cases to 23, while robbery with aggravating circumstances decreased to 22 cases compared to the previous year’s 36.
House break-ins decreased by 8.7% to 158 cases, while business break-ins increased from four to seven cases.
Camps Bay station commander, Captain Keith Chandler, says the increases in crime in the precinct are due to “the influx of persons” to the area, along with business and building activity.
“Our decreases in crimes can be attributed to awareness campaigns brought in by police, the community and the City of Cape Town,” he says.