Residents have been warned about an increase in crime as the festive season draws closer.
A community engagement and campus safety drive on Tuesday warned residents about crime and encouraged people to report any criminal activities they come across.
The law enforcers formed a motorcade that included vehicles from Alexandra Road police station, local security companies, community crime watch groups, Community Policing Forums, officials from the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and other departments.
ALSO READ | Crime on the rise again in Pietermaritzburg.
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson, Captain Kholeka Mhlongo said they drove the motorcade through Scottsville because the suburb is a crime hotspot for the Alexandra Road Police Station.
She added that this was because of students and businesses being robbed there.
“In a day we would record almost five cases of students being robbed of their belongings. I can proudly say that in the past four months since we have involved students and the community, crime has decreased,” said Mhlongo.
She added that she appreciated security companies, local community policing forums and community crime watch group for assisting them in fighting crime.
uMgungundlovu District co-ordinator from the Department of Community Safety and Liaising, Dora Sibanda, said they also engaged with students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, addressing the impacts of looting and crime.
“Because of looting, a lot of people were left unemployed and were at home frustrated about being unemployed. Since the unrest, there was an increase in gender based violence cases. There is also a possibility that people turn to crime because of unemployment,” said Sibanda.
She urged people not to buy stolen goods.
The community engagement will continue into other areas within the district.
CEO of the Pietermaritzburg and Midlands Chamber of Business, Melanie Veness said it was important for communities to stand together against perpetrators of crime.
“The trauma of being robbed as a business owner and staff, even if you are insured, is uncomfortable.
“It could result in having to put more security in for your business, which can cost you money, moving your businesses somewhere else or closing down,” said Veness.
She added that those who are employed also suffer. “We really need to hang on to what we’ve got and build on it,” she said.