The public’s faith in the police is at an all-time low following the release of the latest crime data pointing to a surge in both violent crime and theft in Table View, says a civic group.
The quarterly crime data, released by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday June 3, showed a 22% jump in the country’s murder rate along with increases in rape and common assault, compared to the first three months of last year.
This upward trend has played out across several crime categories in both Table View and Milnerton.
Thefts out of vehicles have doubled in Table View, to 120 cases, from the 62 reported for the same period last year, putting the precinct 30th in the country for this crime.
Table View is ranked 20th for theft, up 24% from 234 to 289 cases, and 21st in the “other serious crime” category (this includes theft not mentioned elsewhere in the stats as well as commercial crime and shoplifting), up 16%, from 444 to 514 cases.
Contact crime (crime against a person) in Table View was up 35% from 211 to 284 cases, with murder rising 25%, from 4 to 5 cases; rape up 90%, from 10 to 19 cases, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (assault GBH) up 21%, from 29 to 35 cases; common robbery up 12%, from 42 to 47 cases; and aggravated robbery up 47%, from 34 to 50 cases although robbery at residential premises stood steady at 6 cases and robbery at non-residential premises dropped from 4 to 2 cases.
Total property-rated crime was up 60% with residential burglaries up 24%, from 76 to 94 cases; theft of vehicles up 136%, from 14 to 33 cases; and theft out of vehicles up 94%, from 62 to 120 cases (This was the category that saw the precinct make the national top-30 ranking).
In the “other serious crime” category, commercial crime increased 45%, from 118 to 169 cases.
When we asked Table View police spokeswoman Captain Adriana Chandler what steps the station was taking to deal with the surges in specific crimes and to explain their underlying causes and where these crimes were most prevalent in the community, she said the station was not authorised to talk to the media about the crime data.
Greater Table View Action Forum chairperson Karen Davies said: “I am afraid that confidence in our SAPS is probably at an all-time low. It is very disheartening to read and hear the stats of crime in our area, but no, I do not believe it is going to get any better any time soon.”
She said the rising number of thefts out of vehicles had been discussed at community police forum plenary meetings and at Imbizos held in the different crime sectors.
“It appears that people are still leaving items in their cars, and that attracts the criminals who are on the lookout for this.”
There was no other strategy to curb thefts from vehicles other than drumming it into the public that they shouldn’t leave valuables in their cars.
Ms Davis said the police maintained that they did not have enough officers and vehicles. “And honestly, these excuses just don’t cut it anymore. As a society, we have the right to expect to have a police (service) that serves and protects, but they seem to only serve and protect their own.”
Meanwhile, Milnerton ranked 24th in the “other serious crimes” category, with a 15.4% increase from 415 to 479 cases. In this category, shoplifting increased 2%, from 90 to 92 cases, putting the precinct eighth in the country for this crime.
Contact crime in Milnerton was up 30% from 288 to 375 cases, with murder down 28%, from 18 to 13 cases; rape up 31%, from 16 to 21 cases, assault GBH up 111%, from 38 to 80 cases; common robbery up 36%, from 28 to 38 cases; and aggravated robbery up 12%, from 83 to 93 cases with residential robberies up 27%, from 11 to 14 cases and non-residential robberies up 33% from 6 to 8 cases.
Total property-rated crime was up 16%, from 227 to 264 cases, with residential burglaries up 37%, from 74 to 101 cases; theft of vehicles up 21%, from 33 to 40 cases; and theft out of vehicles up 5% from 79 to 83 cases.
Milnerton police did not respond to a request for comment.