Concerns mount over break-ins

Residents of Goodwoods Kimberley Street are fed-up with criminals trying to break into their cars and homes.

Residents of a Goodwood street are worried about a series of attempted burglaries in their neighbourhood.

Few were prepared to go on record, but Danny Chetty said he had written an email to his ward councillor, Cecile Janse van Rensburg, last week, warning of the problem.

He said someone had tried to break into his car just after midnight on Thursday.

“I chased him across the field, but he managed to get away. I did call SAPS 10111; they responded within 15 to 20 minutes but by then he was long gone,” he said.

Mr Chetty said more visible policing and better lighting were needed in the area.

“The more lighting we have in the dark corners the better. There are two fields in Kimberley Street, Goodwood, that have been dark for two weeks.”

He said he suspected bin scratchers were working together with criminals.

“We need some intervention to get rid of them,” he said.

Mr Chetty said he realised the police lacked resources and couldn’t be everywhere.

“They spend most of their days in court proceedings. I have seen beat cops on patrol during the day, but they can only do so much. So it’s up to us as a community to unite and brainstorm solutions to these issues.”

Mr Chetty said crime had worsened in the neighbourhood since he had moved in 12 years ago.

He claimed burglars broke into the same places “again and again”.

Ms Janse van Rensburg said she sympathised with the residents and was attending to the request for more lighting in Kimberley Street.

However, Goodwood police spokesman Captain Wayne said only one robbery case had been reported for Kimberley Street area since the start of September.

“People should report these incidents. I cannot comment on cases that were not opened at the station. I want to urge residents to alert police if they see any suspicious activity or people in their street,” he said.

The police would be beefing up patrols in the area ahead of the festive season, he said.

Goodwood Community Police Forum chairman John Ross said the forum, together with SAPS and the neighbourhood watches, monitored break-in statistics weekly and tweaked patrol deployments accordingly.

“Neighborhood watch patrols have increased significantly over the past two months in preparation for the ‘silly’ season,” he said.

But, Mr Ross said there had been no major increases in residential burglaries over the past three months in Goodwood.

“In fact we only had one case more in October than September and the figures are comparable to the same period as last year,” he said.

He said the CPF had seen an upward trend in break-ins for the Monte Vista and Plattekloof areas.

“SAPS have noticed this and plans have been put in place to combat it. It is a fact that as soon as a resident experiences an attempted break-in, they feel that it is on the increase.

“All residents are urged to join organised crime watch groups like the neighbourhood watches.

“Residents can also join WhatsApp crime groups and become active patrollers,” he said.

He added that the poor lighting in the parks was receiving attention.

Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association chairman Faizel Petersen said there had been a steady increase in robberies and home-and-car break-ins across Goodwood in recent months.”Residents have complained at the ratepayers’ meeting about the crime and the manpower shortages at Goodwood police. I have emailed provincial SAPS about this.

“Goodwood is targeted by criminals because it is close to the highway, so criminals can move in and out the area with ease. Residents have complained about how they become despondent when they go to open a case at SAPS as they are confronted by skeleton staff when they get there.

“I was told by provincial SAPS that there needs to be three vehicles patrolling the area day and night. I will keep on escalating this issue to the relevant police departments,” he said.