Cape Town - Nyanga retained the unenviable moniker of murder capital in the latest crime statistics, released on Tuesday, while Fish Hoek appears to be the safest place to live in Cape Town.
Nyanga recorded 300 murders, down by five in the previous year.
Nyanga also saw a 2.9 percent increase in attempted murders, from 173 to 178 reports.
Robbery with aggravating circumstances also saw an increase from 983 to 1 242 reported incidents in the last financial year. Common assault increased from 588 to 756.
But Community Policing Forum secretary Dumisani Qwebe said: “Nyanga will no longer become a murder capital. This is the last year.”
There is no time to be cry-babies. We need to strengthen our partnership with law enforcement agencies in order to achieve this goal.”
Qwebe said cops at the Nyanga police station were working under strenuous conditions, and added that they were underresourced – which frustrated residents.
“People are saddened to hear that we have the highest murder rate.”
The Nyanga station polices six sectors.
“There are few vans, but police are doing their best,” he said.
Qwebe called for an additional police station to be build in Brown’s Farm, which falls under the Nyanga precinct.
He said Brown’s Farm was one of the murder hot spots.
“There are lots of informal settlements which at times make it difficult for police inside those areas. That’s why we are calling for a police station to be built that side.”
Brown’s Farm resident, Sakhumzi Mkutu, said he felt that the police were not visible in communities.
Mkutu said when the police did “actual” patrols they often missed criminals.
“You find eight vans patrolling together. They all stop for one random person while the criminal is left scot-free. I don’t feel safe at all in my community.”
Siphamandla Songelwa, of Nyanga, said guns were easily accessible. “Guns are easy to get and to us the sound of guns firing is becoming all too common. It doesn’t startle us, which is wrong. We are living in fear.”
Qwebe blamed Nyanga’s carjacking spike on people buying stolen vehicles:
“There are those who do not want to buy cars through dealerships. They are creating a market for this. It’s not like things can’t change here, Nyanga will change.”
Meanwhile, the 2014/15 crime stats released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko showed that Fish Hoek was one of the few suburbs where there were no recorded murders or attempted murders.
The number of sexual offences also remained static at nine, since last year.
Robbery with aggravating circumstances and burglary at residential properties had also decreased by 12.5 percent and 20.7 percent, respectively.
There had been just one reported car hijacking and no incidents of truck hijacking.
Resident Merl Witten said she could believe the statistics: “I am confident in my safety in Fish Hoek and I prefer living here than anywhere else.”
Witten said she had never experienced crime for the 13 years that she had been living in the suburb.
She said unlike most suburbs in the city, there were few vagrants and that the the neighbourhood watch was effective.
“If people walk around here late at night they are often stopped and asked where they were going and whether they lived in the area.”
Janet Holwill, from the Ratepayers Association, said crime was being kept in check. “I don’t think we have had things out of the ordinary and our neighbourhood watches keep a close eye.”
Holwill said residents were making good use of social media platforms to alert each other of suspicious activity.
“People are Facebook orientated. We have cameras in improvement districts and at crucial roads. This all makes a difference when combating crime.”
While violent crime remained low, residents highlighted a growing number of burglaries. “Robberies and burglaries are our biggest problem,” said Holwill.
Clovelly Neighbourhood Watch spokesman Adrian Skey said the safety of the area depended on the commitment of the residents. “The greater Fish Hoek makes use of radios because in the Deep South people struggle with cellphone signal. We are co-operating with the police.”
A Noordhoek Neighbourhood Watch member said due to active patrolling there had been a decline in criminal activity. “Women patrol in the morning, and during the day those who are at home keep a close eye out. We also have patrols at around 8pm and sometimes at 3am.”