Car thefts are on the rise in Bellville with at least one stolen a day in the area, say police.
And this is despite police sting operations that use a bait car to lure would-be thieves.
Bellville police station commander Brigadier André van Dyk told last week’s community police forum meeting that 70% of the crime in the precinct happened in the CBD, lower Oakdale and Boston.
Charl Malan Street is the most dangerous street in Bellville, according to the police.
Other crime hot spots include South Street and Voortrekker Road. Thursdays and Fridays are the days with the highest crime, between noon and 3pm and 3pm to 6pm.
In Sector 1, Tuesdays have the highest crime rate. Sector 1 includes Welgemoed, Lovenstein and Door de Kraal. Brigadier Van Wyk said most of Sector 1’s crime happened in Welgemoed.
Teddington Road and Old Paarl Road in Oakdale are also hot spots and Wednesdays and Fridays are high-incident days.
Brigadier van Dyk said crime in Oakdale had been higher than in the CBD.
There had also been an increase in crime in Sector 4, mainly the TygerValley area, which generally had a low crime rate.
Brigadier Van Dyk said police were also trying to identify causes of crime in Sector 5, which comprises 13 suburbs, and was one of the quieter sectors for the moment. However, he warned some areas were more vulnerable to organised crime, including Labiance, Shirley Park, Blommendal and Chrismar.
“Criminals are now making use of cars. They drive along the R300 and approach these areas first,” he said.
The police have also started running checks on growing numbers of homeless people sleeping along Tienie Meyer Drive and the N1 due to the weather.
“We understand that it is a difficult time of the year, but we have started bringing the homeless to the station to run fingerprint or DNA tests on them, to see if they are linked to any crimes,” he said.
The brigadier said members of the crime prevention unit would be transferred and replaced with new blood from Friday June 1.
“Although they had many successes their production level had dropped recently,” Brigadier Van Dyk said.
They would be able to double their visibility and deploy six vehicles at a time instead of three.
City law enforcement’s Peter Crous said their officers had been tackling street gambling, “the doppie players”, in the CBD. They had caught seven last month, but he added it would take more than fines to stop the gamblers, and he would like to see them arrested.
“We as law enforcement can only write out a fine for R300 for them,” he said.
Brigadier Van Dyk agreed the doppie players were a big problem in the CBD, saying lots of robberies were taking place at their gatherings. But the cases were hard to
prosecute as one had to show evidence of gambling.
New CCTV cameras being rolled out by the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, would however, be of great help, he said.
“We are excited about the cameras, having seen the impact licence plate recognition cameras have had on crime,” he said.