Call for Durbanville residents to join CPF

LIZAHN WENTZEL

The Durbanville Community Policing Forum (DCPF) is calling on residents to get involved in their neighbourhood watches to curb crime in the area.

This was the message of DCPF chairman Denzil Smerdon at the forum’s quarterly imbizo on Thursday May 12. Held with the Durbanville police at the Stellenberg Dutch Reformed Church, the meeting informed residents about crime threats and trends.

Mr Smerdon about the successes and challenges faced by the forum over the past six months.

“We had a number of successful operations and improved our relations with the police and local neighbourhood watches. The police and NHW have committed to taking a more hands-on approach at the Durbanville Sports Complex, which has experienced and increase in break-ins,” said Mr Smerdon.

“Crime knows no barrier, and, therefore, we all need to play our part in keeping our community safe.”

Durbanville police’s Warrant Officer Henk Roux presented a crime report at the meeting and said police were facing a big crime problem in Sector 3, which includes Sonstraal Heights, Stellenberg, Eversdal, Kenridge, De Bron and Durbanville Hills.

“Tuesdays to Fridays are the most common days for crime to take place, with 60 percent of residential break-ins occurring.”

Fisantekraal, Sonstraal Heights, Durbanville central and De Bron were identified as crime hot spots.

“We have made strides in the past three years and have seen a decrease in housebreaking, theft out of motor vehicles, theft of motor vehicles and house robbery,” said Warrant Officer Roux.

He said the police’s current challenges included theft of expensive bicycles and house robberies along the greenbelt sector.

Lieutenant Colonel Theo Fisher said commercial crime in the area had also become a big problem. He encouraged residents to be vigilant when buying goods online.

“Don’t trust people on the internet or pay money into their accounts. It is hard to investigate these types of crimes.” he said.

Sector 2 chairman Michael Engelbrecht urged residents in this sector to become more involved.

“We need to work together and make an effort by joining our neighbourhood watches. We need to become a real community and offer our services.”

Sector 3 chairman Craig de Lucchi presented an analysis on the sector. He said there had been a decline in home robberies, quicker response times to crime and that communication between the various role players had improved.

“Some of the weaknesses include community involvement and residents attending meetings such as the imbizos. We also need to remember that we represent the community,” he said.

Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) coordinator Genni Engelbrecht gave an overview of the services they provided.

“We are there to look after the victims of crime and to try and minimise the trauma. When we arrive on a scene, we comfort the victims, inform them of their rights and provide guidance.”

Ms Engelbrecht encouraged residents to become involved with VEP. From January to May, they had worked on 19 cases and supported 72 victims.

* DCPF posted the arrests for March on Facebook which included, 122 drug-related arrests, 30 for drunk driving and 18 for possession of dangerous weapons .