Delft residents take to the streets as crime increases during load shedding

Crime is on the rise in Delft, forcing residents to a patrol team and protect workers during peak hours. Supplied

Crime is on the rise in Delft, forcing residents to a patrol team and protect workers during peak hours. Supplied

Published Jul 6, 2022


Cape Town - Delft residents rolled their sleeves and walked in the dark to reclaim their hood from the lawlessness.

They patrol every morning during peak hours as they allege there's been an increase in common crimes in areas such as Delft South.

The group of 12 residents voluntarily patrol from the Main Road to different sections.

According to Muriel September, the load shedding worsened the volatile situation in their hood as thugs prey on the working class in the early hours and the evenings.

"These mostly happen on the Main Road, where people must get transport to work. In the past weeks, every day a person got robbed, stabbed. Some are held at gunpoint. These are not just happening in the morning, but at broad day light, yet people are scared for their lives.

"Last week, the community had a meeting and decided we can't sleep while they (thugs) are robbing our people from 5am. Police are aware, but they are doing absolutely nothing about it - resulting in people not reporting these crimes anymore," she said.

Menechia Manuel, 40, was allegedly robbed of her taxi fare by two guys on Berio Street on June 29 at 5.50am on her way to work. She did not report the incident because police do not "really investigate and make arrests on these cases."

Police spokesperson Captain Frederick Van Wyk confirmed the increasing crime rates in Delft, but said there are mitigation processes in place.

"There has been an influx of informal settlements in recent years, and therefore, the criminal element is part of the crowd. Delft police management make sure that they keep their members informed of the crime trends and threats in order for them to focus on the top block areas but not to neglect the other areas. They are also making use of other units and law enforcement agencies to assist in addressing crime in the policing precinct," said Van Wyk.

He added: "Delft police are engaging with various stakeholders in order to eradicate crime in the Delft policing precinct. Members of the Community Policing Forum, Neighbourhood watches, Walking bus, among others, and the community, in general, are working hand in hand with SAPS Delft. There is a good relationship between the partners, and they are a good source of information to police. In most circumstances, Neighbourhood Watch members are the first on crime scenes, and they would secure the scene in order for the community not to contaminate it. Delft SAPS management always acknowledges the good work done by all stakeholders.

Van Wyk advised that the public contact the station at 021 954 9011 or 082 522 2036 for assistance.

The chairperson of the Rainbow Neighbourhood Watch, Rochelle Arendse, agreed: "We have an agreement with Delft Police station. whenever we on duty patrolling, we notify, and if assistance is needed, they'll send out a vehicle.

"Our community have always been vulnerable to crime, but recently we have been bombarded by robberies, both house break-ins and robbing of people going to work.

"Illegal connections and cable theft are also a big concern that we regularly report but no action."