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Cops to keep an eye on crime hotspots in KZN including the M25 Bester off-ramp near Phoenix

Phoenix police keep visible at the Bester intersection between Inanda and Phoenix. I Stanley Govender

Phoenix police keep visible at the Bester intersection between Inanda and Phoenix. I Stanley Govender

Published Dec 30, 2021


DURBAN - THE police are monitoring all crime hot spots in KwaZulu-Natal, including the M25 Bester off-ramp, near Phoenix, where robberies are being reported.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele was speaking after an armed robbery at the intersection on Wednesday.

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The intersection leads to Inanda, Ntuzuma and Phoenix. For many years the area has been a hot spot. Motorists with passengers have been targeted while waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. The robbers pounce, smashing the windows and turning off the engine to rob the occupants.

In a WhatsApp voice note, a man warns other motorists to be vigilant when approaching the Bester traffic light. He said that robbers had approached him, and he almost became a victim, but occupants of a nearby BMW made him aware of what was happening.

“They tried to attack me but I managed to get away. There were many of them, and they approached my car from all sides. They went to all the windows, including the passenger window. They smashed my window with a gun.”

The area is policed by Inanda, KwaMashu and Phoenix SAPS.

Two months ago, several Phoenix buses with passengers on board were robbed. Mbele said they were aware of messages circulating on social media and were appealing to the community to remain vigilant when travelling on the roads, and to always check their mirrors when stopped at intersections.

She advised motorists to have their windows closed for safety when driving in high-risk areas, to constantly remain aware of their surroundings and not to be distracted by their cellphones.

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Mbele said communities remained pivotal in fighting crime.

“Police urge all residents and commuters to report any suspicious activities to the police.”

She said the police and crime intelligence had a compressive plan to address the various crime hot spots over the holiday season. Mbele said a provincial directive was forwarded to every police station in the province for streets to be saturated with every functional police member available.

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Phoenix police keep visible at the Bester intersection between Inanda and Phoenix. I Stanley Govender

She said the SAPS would ensure that they had maximum manpower on the ground as daily deployments and operations were monitored from the Provincial Operational Command Centre on a 24-hour basis.

“Crime Intelligence is also gathering information regarding any criminal activities in these hot spot areas, and reaction teams will be in place to be quickly dispatched to crime scenes and any crisis that may arise.”

Phoenix Community Policing Forum chairperson Umesh Singh said the police were at the Bester on- and off-ramps daily after a meeting was held at Phoenix police station.

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He said they needed more support from neighbouring police stations and added that crime had decreased dramatically due to the police presence.

“This is a bustling intersection, especially with public transport picking up and dropping off passengers. Officers at the scene arrested suspects and recovered stolen property when victims approached them at the intersection.”

Daily News