Cape Town - As lockdown regulations are eased and more businesses prepare to reopen, the Central City Improvement District (CCID) said it expected crime in the CBD to increase.
CCID safety and security manager Mo Hendricks said: “With lockdown having moved from level 4 to level 3, we are expecting an influx into the CBD as people return to work and businesses are operating once more.
"So, it is logical to anticipate that the CBD footfall will increase as companies bring at least a third of their workforce back to work.”
He said more motorists could also encourage criminals to return to the CBD.
Crime across all categories in the city centre during the first two months of the lockdown dropped by 72% compared with the number of incidents recorded over the same period last year. CCID safety and security department statistics indicate only 121 crime incidents were reported from March 26 to May 26, compared with 423 during the same period last year.
The number of contact crimes dropped dramatically compared with the same period last year. Robberies decreased from 33 to seven (a reduction of nearly 80%), the number of cases of theft out of motor vehicles dropped from 93 to seven (a reduction of 93%), while there were 22 cases of ATM fraud compared to none during the period under review.
“We expect people to flout the law by not wearing masks in public, not adhering to social distancing protocols and loitering in large groups. We also anticipate that opportunistic criminals will start committing offences such as snatch-and-grab incidents, drug dealing and breaking into vehicles with the intent of stealing visible goods.
"As businesses, now trading again after being closed, start restocking their stores, we might see an increase in business break-ins,” Hendricks said.