Commander encourages nosy parkers

Table View’s police station commander says although property crime has long been a problem in the area it’s seen a dip in the past year.

Colonel Dirk Vosloo gave an overview of crime in the area, at an annual feedback session attended by about 150 people at the Kingsgate Fellowship church hall in Table View on Thursday night March 16.

Colonel Vosloo spoke about crime statistics and patterns in the precinct’s three policing sectors over the last 11 months.

He said it was a pity that, out of the 150 000 residents in the area, there were only about 2 000 neighbourhood watch members who worked tirelessly to keep their communities safe.

While Table View had been a top-five hotspot in the province for property crime, the latest data pointed to a two percent drop in that category, he said.

“When this happens I am very happy but we have to keep on our toes and try for even greater decreases.”

Many crimes were opportunist and could be avoided, said Colonel Vosloo. Cellphone theft was often one such example. He urged people to stay alert to their surroundings and avoid using their phones in public.

“With winter coming up and many people walking to bus stops in the early morning when it’s still dark, your cellphone lights up very brightly and can be seen by preying criminals from far away. Don’t do that.”

Colonel Vosloo said that in the past 11 months there had been 113 police awareness campaigns; 20 980 stop-and-search operations; 31 812 people searched, 9 941 patrols and 3 146 arrests.

He said he was also excited about the prospect of boosting manpower as last week he had interviewed 10 potential reservists.

“One of the biggest plus points is we will be able to call people on board to increase visibility on shifts where we need them most, like the Friday night shift.”

Colonel Vosloo reiterated the need for residents to be the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood.

“It’s not only the neighbourhood watches but that old tannie who’s a nosy parker – she’s also the neighbourhood watch and she’s the one who will report a suspicious-looking car parked down the road from her. But that said, security companies and the neighbourhood watches are massive resources for us. The community police forum together with the neighbourhood watch structures in the three sectors are doing amazing work to be the eyes and ears of the police and in patrolling their streets day and night..

“There’s a whole web of people working together and they are the golden thread that binds us together.”

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