Officers have made more than 3 000 arrests over a six-month period; but a number of policing challenges remain, prompting ramped up education and awareness, particularly around smash and grab incidents.
The City’s Metro Police Department has seen a 59% increase in arrests over a six-month period (July to December 2022), compared to the same period in 2021.
Notable increases were recorded too in the confiscation of contraband, firearms and ammunition, as well as assistance rendered to motorists and/or incidents responded to on the N2 and R300.
‘The increase in arrests and related successes can be attributed to a number of factors, including increased operations, both autonomous and joint undertakings with SAPS; ongoing and growing cooperation from members of the public who are sharing information about criminal activity, and our continued investment in technology and additional resources to amplify our policing efforts,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
In one of the most recent examples, Metro Police officers arrested a suspect and recovered a 9mm firearm and 30 rounds of ammunition in Hanover Park on Friday, 27 January 2023.
Officers responded to a Shotspotter alert, and on arrival, bystanders assisted with a description of the suspect who was tracked down and apprehended just a few minutes later.
‘The department also conducts ongoing education and awareness drives, whether it’s the K9 Unit’s public displays, or exhibitions and most recently, a pamphlet drive to highlight the risks around smash-and-grab incidents. During the activation, officers found that many motorists are still driving with handbags and other valuables on their seats or clearly visible inside the vehicles. We urge our road users, but the public in general, to remember that they too have a role to play in crime prevention; not only by reporting suspicious activity, but also being alert and taking steps to reduce the risk of falling victim to crime. History has proven that motorists are most vulnerable when coming to a stop at an intersection and often distracted by their cellphones or other means. Vigilance can go a long way in ensuring their safety,’ added Alderman Smith.
The Metro Police Strategic Surveillance Unit is a key stakeholder in monitoring for, and dispatching resources to address incidents of crime, including smash and grab incidents.
In the last six months, 171 such incidents were detected by CCTV operators, with most incidents occurring between 15:00 and 21:00
Jakes Gerwel Drive between the N2 and Voortrekker Road remains a hotspot.
The Department registered 300 theft out of motor vehicle incidents at intersections during the same period – these are cases where items are stolen from stationary vehicles, where motorists are driving with open windows, or doors unlocked.
The City urges the public to be extremely vigilant while on the road, not just at known hotspots, but at all times, as these crimes are opportunistic in nature and can occur at any time.
More safety tips are available here: https://bit.ly/401UuAl
Residents are reminded to phone 021 480 77 00 from a cell phone and 107 from a landline to report any criminal activity or emergency.
Source: City Of Cape Town