Violent crimes on the increase

Durbanville victim support members, from left, Nicole Fagan, Chris Theron and Linda Whatley.

The police are worried about a surge in violent crime in Fisantekraal and they’ve called on residents to leave no place for criminals to hide.

Speaking at a public meeting in the neighbourhood last week, Durbanville police station commander Colonel Mary Cupido said there had been several murders and attempted murders in the area since April and residents were delaying reporting hijackings and robberies.

“Your house is burgled but you only phone the police the next day — the police need to inspect the scene, take fingerprints and photographs, but you clean-up your house before reporting the incident, wiping away all the evidence,” she said.

The police needed community support if they were to apprehend violent criminals and seize illegal firearms.

”People are being called out of their houses and shot just like that. They are robbing the spaza shops with these guns, but we have no information on these guns or where they coming from,” said Colonel Cupido.

A resident at the meeting said her son had broken into her neighbour’s home and she had told her her neighbour and encouraged her to report him. Another resident thanked the police for their hard work. “The police deserve a hand of applause, they are doing an excellent job especially over weekends,” he said.

Colonel Cupido identified Kameeldoring, Kiaat, Stinkwood and Pincushion streets in Greenville as crime hot spots and complained that residents were selling their RDP houses.

“For years you cried for these homes, and then you go and sell your home to foreign nationals to put up spaza shops in the place your were supposed to stay. And then you go and put up a hokkie again.”

Greenville Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman Elizabeth Maans said crime was rife in the area, particularly burglaries and muggings, and shebeens were attracting criminals.

The watch has 14 members patrolling the area at night and gets support from the police and the Durbanville Community Police Forum.

“We are all working together to try to reduce crime,” she said.

Warrant Officer Henk Roux said liquor and domestic violence were linked to many of the rape and assault cases in Fisantekraal, and people were being robbed on their way to work between 5am and 7am and at night when they returned home. Those flashing their cellphones made themselves targets as did spaza shops without security.

“The shops do not have alarms, cameras or panic buttons which makes them easy targets,” he said.

The police also complained that many crime victims were unwilling to make a full statement or testify in court.

Linda Whatley, from the Durbanville Victim Empowerment Programme, said they were trying to get more volunteers from Fisantekraal.

Colonel Cupido urged residents to come forward with information and take back their streets from criminals. “The people committing the crimes are from this area, but no one knows anything and they don’t want to talk to the police.”