Cape Town – Despite a spate of opportunistic incidents, crime in the CBD has dropped dramatically during lockdown, according to CCID Safety and Security.
Only 35 crimes were recorded by the CCID between March 27 and April 15, compared with 151 crime incidents during the same period last year.
“This equates to a 76% reduction in crime,” said CCID Safety and Security manager Mo Hendricks.
There has also been a decrease in contact crimes compared with the same period last year. In 2019 there were 22 robberies, 60 cases of theft out of motor vehicles and 20 cases of people fighting in public.
During the first three weeks of lockdown, there were two robberies, one case of theft out of a motor vehicle and four cases of people fighting in public.
The CCID Safety & Security department has continued to operate at full capacity as an essential service during lockdown, with the full complement of 300 Public Safety Officers being deployed 24/7.
“We changed our deployment strategy for the lockdown period, which was due to end on April 16, but has been extended to April 30, to focus on protecting people, property and possessions,” Hendricks said.
The first week of lockdown was challenging, he said, as “full directives from our law agency partners had not yet filtered down to ground level and many people continued to act as if it was business as usual and wanted to roam the streets as normal”.
However, Hendricks said the CCID’s deployment strategy and high visibility on the streets, coupled with collaboration with police and City Law Enforcement, has been highly effective in combating crime in the city.
During the first weekend, 16 suspects were arrested, 14 for breaking into businesses and two for being in possession of implements to break into vehicles.
The business break-ins were “opportunistic and sporadic crimes” by criminals who tried to take advantage of the situation,Hendricks said.
“We immediately shut down their windows of opportunity. The CCID PSOs managed to catch 14 suspects who, with the assistance of SAPS, were arrested over this three-day period.”
The City meanwhile said nearly 60% of the 84 persons arrested by the City’s enforcement agencies in the last week were in contravention of the Disaster Management Act – most notably shopkeepers selling prohibited goods.
In addition, officers stopped 1 937 motor vehicles and issued 1 988 traffic and by-law fines.