File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).
File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA).

Criminals set their sights on vulnerable first-year students in Pretoria

By LIAM NGOBENI Time of article published Feb 14, 2020

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Pretoria - The academic year is now in full swing but criminals have also stepped up their game in targeting vulnerable first-year students.

In a bid to sensitise the new influx of students, the Brooklyn SAPS and Hatfield City Improvement Districts embarked on a safety awareness campaign in the Brooklyn policing precinct after a number of robberies were reported last week.

Captain Colette Weilbach said that each year the Brooklyn police experienced an increase in cases reported by students who fell victim to various crimes.

“Because of the influx of students, criminals use the opportunity to pounce on newcomers to the city and campus life,” she said, adding that the police were now encouraging students to be aware of the crime risks and take steps to ensure their safety and safeguard their belongings.

“Two incidents were reported last week. Both incidents occurred between 8pm and 10pm, and one of the victims was a 22-year-old woman, the other a 30-year-old man.”

The culprit was not put off by the fact that the victims were walking with friends.

In other incidents, the thugs jumped into vehicles after grabbing cellphones.

All the incidents occurred in close proximity of the university, student residences and entertainment places where young people normally spend their free time after classes.

Weilbach said it was recommended that students from the University of Pretoria must try to make use of the free park-and-ride facilities available at the sports grounds, as these were a much safer option for those who could not find parking on campus.

Pretoria News

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