A woman has slammed Milnerton police station on social media, claiming that when she tried to report a burglary officers told her they couldn’t come out because “it’s weekend” and that coming out for fingerprints would “take too long”.
But police have hit back, claiming they have CCTV footage where the woman can “clearly be heard thanking the constable” before leaving.
Deborah Ann Boyes posted a minute-long video on Facebook on Sunday March 3, at 7:27am.
Standing outside the station, Ms Boyes was visibly shaking as she questioned the use of reporting crime to Milnerton police station.
A man had broken into her home and had been standing in her and her husband’s bedroom, she said.
“I come here to report a burglary. I get told that they are not going to come today because it’s weekend,” she says in the clip, adding that when she asked officers if they would come out to take fingerprints, they told her “it takes too long”.
“Why must we report burglaries to Milnerton police station when we get told that fingerprints take too long and not on the weekend? We could have been killed. Both our windows were wide open. I caught him in the act in my bedroom,” she said.
Why must I report a crime? What use does it do?” Ms Boyes added.
Milnerton station commander Brigadier Marius Stander said he was aware of the video post and that the matter was under investigation.
Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said Ms Boyes had been attended to within three minutes.
“It is confirmed that she reported that she and her husband had encountered an intruder in their home. She stated that her husband was busy ascertaining whether anything was stolen and would follow shortly. In the interim she enquired as to the taking of fingerprints. It was explained to her that this would only follow once a case was opened, and it could not be guaranteed that it would take place before Monday.
On the CCTV footage, the complainant can clearly be heard thanking the constable before leaving… At no stage did the complainant indicate any dissatisfaction with the service received or request to speak to a supervisor or more senior officer,” he said.
Milnerton Community Police Forum vice-chairman Jacqui Pember said she had viewed the footage and seen a “quiet, calm conversation” between Ms Boyes and the constable who had helped her.
“There was a lot of background noise, so I couldn’t exactly hear the whole conversation, but I did hear her say, ‘Oh, thank you’ before she left.”
Ms Boyes told Tabletalk the CPF’s interpretation of the footage painted the police as “innocent” and her as lying.
“I am fuming. I run a home for abused women and children. I am a registered NPO. I had two young girls on this premises over the weekend. What should be their safe home was not, and then for them to witness that the police don’t give a damn. How do I convince those who are meant to feel protected by the police, after all this?”
In a separate incident, Ceinwen Müller, of Burgandy Estate, has accused Milnerton police of being sloppy with their handling of a motorbike crash that claimed the life of her boyfriend, Shaun Liebenberg, 36.
Mr Liebenberg was riding his KTM Duke to Paarden Eiland on Friday February 15, at 3pm, when he collided with a Renault Duster at the intersection of Loxton Road and Langerman Avenue. He died at the scene. According to Ms Müller, when she arrived at the scene, she saw SAPS taking pictures, but there were no chalk markings on the road.
“The police are supposed to interview as many people at the scene as possible, but they did not,” she said.
She had met with the detective only once, a few days after the accident. He had told her he was working on “witnesses’ stories” and could be reached on his cellphone, she said. But she had tried to call him several times without success.
She said there appeared to be confusion over whether it had been a man or a woman driving the Duster. Ms Müller said a car guard had told her it looked as if the Duster had tried to leave the crash scene, but the driver of a blue Toyota had stopped it.
“There was a lady who was apparently parked in a maroon Renault Scenic in the side street at the time of the accident. We would love to hear from her because she might be able to tell us exactly what happened,” she said.
“I am certain there are many witnesses who have not yet come forward, but their accounts of the events are so vital to this case,” she said.
She said she had spoken to several witnesses and she found it hard to understand why the police had allowed the driver to leave the scene.
“Someone died,” said Ms Müller who is determined to help with the case so it is not “ignored”.
“We need to do right by Shaun. I know nothing will bring him back, and I know the accident was not intentional, but we just want to know what happened,” she said.
Brigadier Stander said the sergeant dealing with the case was on a course “which would explain Ms Müller’s difficulty in contacting him.”
The case had been handed to another investigator in that sergeant’s absence, he said, and added that the newly appointed sergeant would contact her shortly.
“She is advised to convey to him any additional information which would assist in the investigation. Should she be dissatisfied in the manner the investigation is being conducted, she is welcome to contact the branch commander, Colonel Els, at 012 528 3849,” he said.