Surge in robberies

Colonel Teboho Jacobs, the new Parow police station commander.

Carjackings, home robberies and common robberies are up in Goodwood, but most contact crime – including murder and attempted murder – in both the Goodwood and Parow precinct have either dropped or stabilised.

This is according to the latest crime statistics released last Thursday by Police Minister Bheki Cele.
They showed the country had 21 022 murders for 2018/2019 financial year, 686 more than the previous year – an increase of 3,4%.
In the Western Cape, murders increased 6,6% from 3 7974 this year with the top cause being gang-related.
The statistics record reported crimes across the country from March 2018 to April 2019.
Theft out of vehicles, property-related crimes, business and commercial crimes as well as opportunistic crimes remain areas of concern for both Goodwood and Parow police stations.
Goodwood police spokesman, Captain Waynne Theunis, said the 17.9% increase in the number robberies with aggravating circumstances – up 47 cases from 262 to 309 cases – was worrisome.
Common robbery cases were down from 204 to 171. Murder in the precinct dropped from 10 to four cases and rapes dropped from 24 to 16.
But, there were nine more carjackings (25 to 34 cases), six more home robberies (10 to 16 cases) and two more business robberies (29 to 31 cases).
“In other categories of crime, we fared pretty well. However, we need to continue to encourage people not to openly display items of value and cellphones while walking along Voortrekker Road corridor and at train stations in the area,” Captain Theunis said.
John Ross, chairman of the Goodwood Community Police Forum (CPF), said aggravated robberies, driving under the influence of alcohol, carjacking and residential burglaries were a huge concern in the community.
And staff shortages at the police station remained an issue.
“We are constantly losing quality members through promotional transfers, retirement and death. However, the staff that leave are seldom replaced. The pressure on the SAPS members at Goodwood is huge, and it is only a matter of time before the dam wall cracks and serious crime increases.”
Most cases in the sexual offences crime category decreased, but there was an 87.5% hike in sexual assaults, from eight to 15 cases.
Common assaults were up by seven cases, from 227 to 234.
There was a 17.6% increase in the contact-related crime category which includes arson and malicious damage to property, from 159 to 187 cases. There were 10 murders in Parow for the past fiscal year, but the figure was unchanged from the previous year.
Parow CPF chairman, Roger Cannon, who has strongly condemned the murder of Jesse Hess, 19, and her grandfather, Chris, 85, in their Parow flat a fortnight ago said Parow police had told him that they “do not receive many domestic violence complaints”.
According to the latest stats, 48 sexual-offences cases were reported at Parow police station in the past fiscal year, 26.3% up from the 38 the previous year. Rape cases dropped from 30 to 29.
Sexual offences across South Africa for 2018/2019 went up 4.6% to 52 420 cases, but in the Western Cape they dropped by 0.5% from 7075 to 7043 cases.
Mr Cannon said SAPS was crippled by staff shortages.
“This is an ongoing discussion. However, as it is known, this is a national government responsibility. We again raised our voice at the crime summit which was held this weekend asking for more human resources to be made available,” he said.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said it was concerning that the province had 18.9% of the country’s murders but only 11.6% of the population. The province could no longer wait of the police, he said.
“SAPS need to adopt evidence-based policing, which would lead to deployment at key times in key hot spot locations. We need our police to be in these hot spots before crimes are committed, not after.
My department will conduct an in-depth analysis of these crime stats, in order to shed more light on specific trends, crime categories and a suite of proposed responses.”  
Premier Alan Winde said: “We continue our call for policing to become a provincial mandate as these statistics have shown that the nationally managed SAPS have lost the war on crime.”