Neighbourhood watches and community participation in Constantia Valley took centre stage during the release of the annual crime statistics.
On Friday 19 September, station commanders from the Wynberg Cluster, which includes Diep River, Wynberg, Kirstenhof, Grassy Park and Steenberg, aired their views on the figures, as well as highlighting concerns and successes.
The meeting was chaired by Visible Policing Cluster commander Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Meyer who said overall the cluster statistics indicate a decrease in crime across the five precincts.
In the past year more than 500 wanted suspects have been arrested and just under 2000 people arrested for drug-related crimes.
Wynberg Police Station came out tops and was rated as the best performing station in the cluster over the past five months, while Grassy Park Police Station was rated the worst.
Wynberg station commander Brigadier Riaan Booysen attributed this success to partnerships with neighbourhood watches and the Community Police Forum.
Booysen said the main priority for Wynberg was drug dealing.
He explained as police believed it fuelled other crime, they will be going after the dealers.
In the past year, Wynberg police increased drug-related arrests from 484 cases to 563.
“There will be many more arrests as we focus on undercover operations aimed at drug dealers,” Booysen added.
In her report, Diep River acting station commander Major Sandra Jonathan said house break-ins and theft of motor vehicles were among the main concerns for the period between April and August this year.
According to the annual statistics, residential burglaries increased from 596 cases to 646 in the Diep River precinct.
She said police were also concerns about armed robberies and robberies at the railway lines.
According to the annual statistics, which is based on crimes committed between April 2013 and March 2014, aggravated robberies increased from 155 cases to 158.
Theft of motor vehicles as well as common robberies decreased.
In the Kirstenhof precinct – which covers Westlake, Tokai and Kirstenhof, among other areas – station commander Lieutenant-Colonel June Cilliers said illegal taxi operators were the biggest concern. She said during the year, police officers received death threats from taxi operators and this remained their biggest challenge.
Asked what police management was doing about ongoing taxi violence, Meyer said they have operations with Muizenberg police.
“It is also being taken up at a provincial police level,” he said.
Cilliers thanked neighbourhood watches and crime forums for their role in curbing crime.
In this precinct there has been a marked decline in the number of residential burglary cases. The station recorded 376 cases which is 125 cases less than the previous year.
Station commanders concluded the meeting by thanking neighbourhood watches and community organisations for their role in curbing crime.
Hout Bay Police Station which forms part of the Muizenberg Cluster has enjoyed several successes over the past year. This follows a reduction in the number of shebeens and the formation of neighbourhood watches in Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu.
Earlier this year station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Bongani Mtakati was rated the top station commander in the Western Cape. According to statistics, contact crimes in Hout Bay have decreased, with a 50% reduction in sexual crimes.
The station also more than doubled their drug-related arrests from 221 cases the previous year to 492 in the last term. Mtakati could not be reached for comment.
Cluster Community Police Forum chairperson Joe Dyasi said he was pleased with the performance of the stations and said drugs were still the biggest concern.