Crime stats not as accurate says community leaders

Lentegeur and Strandfontein’s Community Police Forum (CPF) say the crime stats are not a true reflection because much crime goes unreported.

Lentegeur Police Station was in fourth place on the top 30 police stations list for sexual assault cases, (“Plain sexual assault cases top in crime stats”; Plainsman November 30). The total crimes reported in 2021 are 797 cases and in 2022 were 940 cases with an increase of 143 cases.

Lentegeur police station has been on a decrease of 28.6% for murder cases, with 14 cases in 2021 and 10 cases in 2022. Malicious damage to property is at an increase 21,7%, with 92 cases in 2021 and 112 cases in 2022.

Chairman Byron De Villiers said Lentegeur CPF has been forming neighbourhood watches to show more visibility.

“We have also emailed the MEC Reagen Allen to request the Law Enforcement office to be deployed to Lentegeur SAPS to work with the shifts.

“In most instances we are at crime scenes mainly to make sure that SAPS and all the role players do what is needed and also to assist where we can as a community component,” he said.

Mr De Villiers said people are afraid to report crime. They’re either directly involved or a family member is.

“The community has no faith in the justice system,” he said. “The community is covering for the dealers. When the police attempt to arrest them, the community stands up against SAPS. Some communities are funded by these dealers.”

“We have worked very hard in trying to close the gap between the community and SAPS. By doing more, people are willing to speak about crime in their areas. The CPF and Lentegeur station management have also been very active in ensuring that service delivery to the community improves,” said Mr De Villiers.

The CPF and station management are working hard to fight corruption within its ranks and that is a fight which is ongoing, he said.

“The fight against crime is a holistic approach and can not only be the responsibility of the SAPS. If the community plays its part together with SAPS and the city’s enforcement agencies we will see a difference in crime in the Lentegeur precinct,” he said.

Zoraya DuPlessis, vice chairperson of the Sector 5 neighbourhood watch under Lentegeur said they’ve experienced shootings in the area especially in broad daylight.

“Weltevreden Parkway is a major concern, especially for shootings. Crime in our precinct has increased. SAPS however are at crime scenes before us,” she said.

Community members should continue to help them in fighting crime and continue to report crimes, she said.

The Strandfontein CPF did not respond at the time of print.

Igshaan Carstens, chairperson of StrandBay Business Development Forum, a representative for businesses in Strandfontein and Bayview forming part of the Local Economic Empowerment Development Organisation who source job opportunities for the community.

He said the community are the eyes and ears of the spaces.

“Crime stats are not always the true reflection but sometimes people don’t report the crime, because of fear. Even if it may be a minor crime, still report it so that it’s captured,” he said.

The total crimes reported in 2021 and 2022 are 206 cases with no increase or decrease in Strandfontein. For malicious damage to property in Strandfontein they had 23 cases in 2021 and 28 cases in 2022 with an increase of 21.7%. For drug related crimes they had 71 cases and 40 cases in 2022 with an increase of 43.7%.

They’ve spoken to the authorities saying they need more hands and feet on the ground.

“We’ve been told authorities may be able to assist in this regard but the crime stats reflect that Strandfontein is not in need of it,” said Mr Carstens.

The people on the ground are those patrolling every day, they see the crime most times first hand.

For more information contact Ms Du Plessis on WhatsApp to notify them of crime in Lentegeur on 082 632 0176. You can also visit their container office on corner of Bond and Weltevreden Parkway, close to the bridge at Samora Machel.

•According to the crime stats for 2022, Strandfontein Police Station had no cases of murder in 2022 and one case in 2021. For attempted murder they had three cases in 2021 and none in 2022.

•For sexual offence cases they had five cases in 2021 and four in 2022. Their contact crimes for common assault was 27 cases in 2021 and 32 cases in 2022 with an increase of five cases.

•For the Lentegeur precinct, murder has decreased with 14 cases in 2021 and 10 cases in 2022.

•In other crimes in Lentegeur, for more common assault, they had 125 cases in 2021 and 179 in 2022, with an increase of 54 cases. For their total sexual offence cases they had 21 in 2021 and 24 in 2022 with an increase of 4 cases.

For drug related crime they had 482 in 2021 and 583 cases in 2022 with a decrease of 101.