Cape Town - About five of Jakes Gerwel Drive’s intersections have been identified as hot spots for smash-and-grab incidents following month-to-month spikes in numbers. Victims of these crimes are encouraged to report them to the police and lay charges.
The City’s metro police department has embarked on an awareness drive along the roads where smash-and-grab incidents continue to rise and in areas motor vehicle theft is prevalent, although on the decrease.
Following through on observations by the City in both April and May, it recorded seven smash-and-grab incidents for each month, but in June there were 12, in July 19, in August 35 and in September 42 incidents.
The department also recorded ups and downs in the number of thefts out of motor vehicles at five hot spot intersections, namely Stellenbosch Arterial Road and Adam Tas Road; Robert Sobukwe Road and 35th Avenue; 35th Avenue and Bishop Lavis Drive; Owen Street and 35th Avenue; and Reygersdal on the Atlantis MyCiTi route.
In April, there were 46 incidents, May 36 incidents, June 41, July 50, August 39 and September 20.
The highest numbers of these incidents were recorded on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Bontheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said all five hot spot intersections along Jakes Gerwel fall under his sub-council jurisdiction.
“These are all criminal acts and criminal acts are to be monitored by police in partnership with the metro police and law enforcement. The biggest challenge that has led to this escalation is that those affected are not reporting them to the police.”
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said three of their enforcement departments do frequent operations along these routes, foot and visible patrols, and continue to educate drivers on risky behaviour.
Their camera surveillance teams also alert them when there are suspects on the road, who disappear when they see officers coming.
“Motorists are most vulnerable when stationary at an intersection and are often distracted by their cellphones or other items.
“These crimes have increased over the last few months and as we get closer to the festive season, the criminals are likely to increase their activity.
“We cannot let the criminals off the hook so easily. Not reporting incidents can create a false sense of security and put others at risk of falling victim. Together we can put an end to these crimes.”
Residents are reminded to phone 021 480 77 00 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline to report any criminal activity or emergency.