Long Street businesses have been targeted by criminals taking advantage of the national lockdown.     Tracey Adams  African News Agency (ANA)
Long Street businesses have been targeted by criminals taking advantage of the national lockdown. Tracey Adams African News Agency (ANA)

Crime in Cape CBD drops 73% during level 4 lockdown

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Cape Town - Crime in the city centre during level 4 of the lockdown has dropped by 73% across all crime categories compared with the number of incidents recorded this time last year.

This is according to statistics released by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Safety and Security department.

Mo Hendricks, the CCID's safety and security manager, said only 94 crime incidents were reported from March 26 to May 15, compared with 340 during the same period last year.

Hendricks said: “From the start of lockdown until May 15, there were five robberies (a reduction of 78%), five cases of theft out of motor vehicles (a reduction of 92%) and 11 cases of people fighting in public (a reduction of 70%).”

There were no incidents of ATM fraud, usually a prevalent crime in the CBD, and no theft, he added.

“The CCID is operating at full capacity as an essential service, with its full complement of 300 public safety officers on duty 24/7.

"The CCID changed its security deployment strategy for the lockdown period to focus on protecting people, property and possessions.

“Our strategy has proved very successful as, working closely with the police and the City’s law enforcement agency, we have managed to maintain a strong security presence and been able to effectively enforce the lockdown regulations as stipulated in the National Disaster Act,” Hendricks said.

“Fines of over R20000 have been issued for the illegal sale of cigarettes and people being out on the streets without a permit from 8pm to 5am.”

He said cigarettes were also at the centre of the arrest of two armed robbers, who held up a CBD convenience store owner and escaped with goods, including three bags of cartons of cigarettes worth as much as R10000.

Meanwhile, Fidelity ADT urged residents of the southern suburbs to remain vigilant about home security following “a reported spike in opportunistic crime during the lockdown".

This followed a warning by the Harfield Village Community Improvement District last week.

Jade Hanning, Cape Town South district manager at Fidelity ADT, said according to the warning, most incidents occurred between midnight and 5am and involved theft out of motor vehicles or attempted forced entry.

“Please make sure there is nothing of value left inside your car even if it's parked behind a gate.

"Also it has come to light that a lot of these incidents are not being reported to the police.

"It's imperative that any criminal activity is reported. This enables the SAPS to do better crime analysis and deploy resources where there is a spike in crime,” Hanning said.

He said opportunistic thieves were aware that families would be working remotely from home and that children were continuing with online schooling via electronic devices.

“As such, these criminals will be on the lookout for easy opportunities to take advantage of vulnerable properties,” Hanning said.

"The best defence is to make your property as unattractive to criminals as possible."

@SISONKE_MD

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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