LETTER: Protect beach walkers

I refer to “Arrest after beach robbery” (People’ Post, 16 August). Firstly, well done to the police!

Secondly the “helpful guidelines for prevention of robberies” actually made me laugh because the very incident being reported didn’t get averted by obeying the rules quoted. The robbery they were reporting on concerned three people walking together on the beach near Sunrise Circle. The tip “never walk alone, always try to walk in a group” didn’t seem to help in this case did it?!

This is not the first incident at the beach as has been reported before. One such example was a robbery on Saturday 6 June last year, also in broad-daylight and this was a couple, not someone walking on their own. I have also spoken to someone who was threatened with a knife and ended up retreating into the waves to escape.

Surely there needs to be patrolling by beach law enforcement here in particular, being a high risk area? But where are they?

I will tell you where they are – one day I had a little Yorkie dog that I was walking on the beach and exited the beach at Muizenberg where the river comes in, right past the Law Enforcement office. There were the officers sitting in their car. One was standing beside the car and approached me rather belligerently and asked if I had read the notice to which he pointed. I said: no, I hadn’t read the notice. So he looked at the tiny little dog who was not on a lead, thrust his large fine book right under my nose and said most aggressively: “I can fine you R500 you know.

I asked where was I supposed to walk my dog off the lead, the “dog” beach being Sunrise Circle. He said there the dog could be off the lead. I felt like saying: “Well if you go with me to protect me, then I might go there”.

But of course he wouldn’t dream of doing that when he could sit, off the beach or in the car, near to a convenient cup of coffee in the office there.

The criminals walk freely mugging people on the beach while officers fine law abiding citizens. The law needs to be “enforced” on the criminals and the law abiding citizens need to be protected, especially the older people who are targets. I walk most mornings but I walk in trepidation of my life because the law enforcement guys are sitting off the beach doing nothing.

C’mon, let’s rectify this sad situation and make walking a safe pastime for our health and the health of our dogs!

Jeanette Airey Sandvlei

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