There has been a crime spike in Capri Village after the City of Cape Town approved the road reserve above Java Close to be used as a temporary dumping site for rubble from the Kommetjie Road upgrade project says the neighbourhood watch.
Deputy chairman of the Community Police Forum and Capri Neighbourhood Watch, Jason Hartmann, said according to SAPS statistics there had been 12 housebreakings there from Friday September 1 to Sunday November 19, compared to two from Saturday April 1 to Thursday August 31 which is a 400% increase.
Additional incidents since Sunday November 19 had included a house robbery where a firearm had been discharged.
He said the dumping site has created a distinct path providing easy access to Capri Village via foot and vehicle.
But Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, rejected any link between the dump and an increase in crime, saying the site was not close to any residents.
An independent environmental officer, he said, was monitoring the site to ensure rubble was not being dumped in a way that could create hiding places for criminals.
No public participation process had been necessary as the material was being placed within the road reserve of Glencairn Expressway where a northbound carriageway would be built in future.
Mr Hartmann said the watch had spent hundreds of thousands of rands in the past four years securing the neighbourhood with little to no help from the City.
Last year Capri residents had spent R200 000 on fencing and cameras, which had seen a big drop in burglaries, he said, especially in the area bordering Blackhill Expressway.
“It took a very long time to raise the funds, and now with the temporary dumping site, the effect has been completely reversed in the past two months. We, as residents and ratepayers, spend an enormous amount of money protecting ourselves from criminals. We fortify our houses, form neighbourhood watches and concerned citizens groups to fill a void that both the City and national government should be filling.
“We understand that there just isn’t enough money available to do what needs to be done. However, if something is brought to the attention of the City, which clearly indicates that crime has increased due to their actions which puts residents lives in danger, surely the City has a responsibility to remedy that,” Mr Harmann said.
Owner of YMA Security, Yann Mouret, confirmed there had been a spike in housebreakings, saying residents from the Blackhill informal settlement behind Stonehaven now had easy access to Capri Village via the road reserve.
Fish Hoek police spokesman Warrant Officer Peter Middelton was not available for comment, and station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson, who was at a provincial meeting, referred the Echo to a Captain Mdebuka who could not be reached.
Mr Herron said crime had been discussed at a recent community meeting, attended by the ward councillor and all had
“unanimously agreed that there is no connection between the increase in crime and the placement of the material”.
He added that the City was” keeping a close eye on the situation”.
Ward councillor Felicity Purchase said the sad truth was that crime had increased all over the valley, and the crime spike in Capri could not be blamed on the dumping site.
“The concerns were raised at the Kommetjie Road public meeting last week where it was interrogated and the result is that it does not make the access in Capri that much easier than it was before,” she said.