Report crime for tighter patrol

Johann Kikillus, Ocean View

I read about the meeting in Fish Hoek last week with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille (“Valley Safety and security under the spotlight,” Echo March 22).

I did not go to the meeting as I did not expect there to be any new revelations on our crime wave we are experiencing.

But I have to point out here that the communities of the far south are partly to blame for the lack of adequate policing and law enforcement resources.

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of reporting of crimes, and by reporting, I mean opening cases and receiving a case number.

Each time a case is opened it is added to the statistics. These statistics get sent to the provincial SAPS office who, based on what they see, plan accordingly.

An example is Kommetjie which has seen a spike in housebreak-in, attempted house breakin and trespassing. This has been a problem for many years. Back in 2012 when we raised this with the station commander, he expressed surprise as he only had proof of a few house break-ins.

Often if the criminal is unsuccessful in stealing anything, the victim simply does not bother laying charges. I suspect that today this is the same problem. I know of house break-ins almost every single night over the past couple of weeks. I wonder if the new station commander has that on record?

I reckon that if the dozens and dozens of house break-ins and theft out of motor vehicles were all reported, that five years later, Kommetjie would probably have its own sector van by now. Instead, we have to wait for up to two hours when we desperately need a van.

The same goes for Ocean View when on a Monday I often have many people come to the Ocean View Care Centre telling me that there was a lot of shooting over the weekend. When I enquire with SAPS, they only can point to one incident – sometimes none.

My point is that it is up to the public to report on every single crime that happens in the Valley – no matter how small. It is important to insist that a case number is sent to your cellphone as proof that your complaint was logged. If we start doing this properly, then the police top brass will start getting a clearer picture of what is going on in each community and will be in a position to plan better. At the very least, the Minister of Police can be held accountable for failing to act if there is an enormous spike in crime and he does nothing.

Hopefully by the end of the financial year, we will see bigger budgets and more visible policing and detectives come to our stations.