Motorists urged to report smash-and-grabs along Jakes Gerwel Drive
Cape Town - The Langa Community Policing Forum (CPF) has encouraged motorists to report smash and grabs incidents occurring along Jakes Gerwel Drive between Langa and Bonteheuwel.
This after a number of incidents that happened along Vanguard Drive which Langa CPF chairperson Zanele Mbizela said were not reported to the police.
Mbizela said this was an ongoing challenge and has recently increased as more people were unemployed and desperate to make fast money.
“We had a meeting prior to the lockdown with Bonteheuwel community policing forum and both forums raised this as a concernand with the police to say that it was a challenge because motorists don’t know where to report these cases when they occur.
“Smash a grab is not a reported crime and comes across as if it is not happening in our area“A lot of drivers have been victims, however, do not see the need to report to the police because they feel like it will delay them,” she said.
Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said the problem of the incidents on Vanguard Drive were a major problem.
“What is of huge significance to note is that the activity is taking place on the Langa side of Vanguard where perpetrators are then running through the shacks that border the road after smashing and grabbing,” he said.
McKenzie said this matter has been consistently raised with police but with little or no active response.
“What we have done from a neighbouring perspective from our side was to on a daily basis deploy the Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Watch in the morning and afternoon to have active patrols unarmed and purely voluntarily.
“It would, however, be greatly appreciated if the Langa SAPS and community could equally support our attempts to bring this deplorable criminal activity to an end,” he said.
Mbizela said they have constantly raised the matter of lack of cameras and of access to footage of the existing cameras to the safety and security department.
“We always struggle when we need footage of these incidents. What is the point of cameras in Langa that will require someone as far as Goodwood, if we can do it ourselves, ensuring identification of perpetrators and imminent arrest.This delays the cases and makes the police and neighbourhood watches as if they are not doing anything
She said lack of footage played a role in ensuring that there were no arrests made, adding that residents needed to take charge of their safety and their surroundings.
“We have also been constantly acquiring that locals must be trained to enable them to view these and give us leads. Police have their own challenges in terms of shortage of resources. As much as we would like for people to have employment opportunities, if there is an option that will prevent us from being robbed, then let’s utilise that option but it needs to be effective,” she said.