Milnerton is among the top-30 precincts in the country most hit by serious crimes, according to the latest crime statistics.
Released by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday October 24, the crime stats log reported crimes in the country from the beginning of April last year to the end of March this year.
They point to an overall 7% drop in serious-crime categories for the Milnerton police precinct when compared to the same period for the previous year, but the numbers are still very high – 6 779 reported cases, down from 7 288 – and the suburb is ranked 28th in the country for serious crime.
This is despite contact crimes falling 6%, from 1 899 to 1 783. These are crimes against a person: murder, attempted murder, sexual offences, common assault, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH), common assault, common robbery and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Murder dropped 5%, from 40 to 38, and sexual offences, which include rape, fell 10% from 108 to 97 cases.
Property-related crimes, such as burglary and vehicle theft, fell 13%, from 2 029 to 1 772. There was a marked drop in home burglaries, which fell almost 16%, from 849 to 717. But business burglaries rose 2.7% from 263 to 270. Vehicle theft also fell sharply by 25%, from 251 to 189.
Milnerton police station commander Brigadier Marius Stander said he was pleased with the reductions in major crimes, especially the drop in murder cases for three years running.
However, Dunoon and Joe Slovo remained crime hot spots, especially for contact crimes, while aggravated robberies and business burglaries in the Milnerton precinct remained “a concern”.
He hoped initiatives such as the creation of a special ratings area in Montague Gardens would “bear fruit” soon.
“The key to success is partnerships, and we encourage the community to continue to act as our eyes and ears on the ground,” he said.
Melkbosstrand and Bothasig have seen slight increases in serious crime. Contact crimes rose 4.5% in Melkbosstrand, from 88 to 92 cases. Sexual offences rose from four to six cases. That included rape, which rose from two to four cases.
The big red flag in Melkbosstrand was for home burglaries, which shot up more than 90% from 67 to 129 cases.
And, overall, property-related crime in the suburb rose 34%, from 166 to 222 cases, with the high number for burglary driving much of that.
Contact crimes in Bothasig rose 6.1% overall, with the common assault (rising 28% from 89 to 114 cases) and common robbery (rising 36% from 22 to 30 cases) categories accounting for much of that.
Bothasig police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Jacobs urged the public to avoid being victims of robberies by “stashing and not flashing valuable items”.
Melkbosstrand Community Police Forum chairman Samie Kleynhans said that his organisation was very concerned about the overall increase in crime.
“The stats only confirmed what we expected. There are many factors that contribute to these results of which the majority is a countrywide problem. Unemployment still stays the biggest contributing factor in my opinion.”
He urged residents to “get involved” and not put goods and food out with their garbage.
The Table View precinct continued its good run with contact crimes falling 10.3% from 1 022 to 917. Murders were up in that category, from 9 to 10 cases, as were sexual offences from 56 to 58 cases — that includes a 3% increase in rape from 33 to 34 cases.
Aggravated robberies fell 17%, from 69 to 57.
ParklandsNeighbourhood Watch (PNW) chairman Gary le Roux said the area had seen a year-on-year decline in crime, something he attributed to strong partnerships between various community organisations and the police.