Season safety

Gearing up for the busy festive season, the provincial police launched their Safer Festive Season plan at the Bellville Velodrome on Thursday November 3.

While most people take well-deserved break during the holidays, to rest, relax and spend time with their families, Mitchell’s Plain police spokesperson, Captain Ian Williams, said it is also the time when criminals are more active and prey on innocent and unsuspecting people.

Captain Williams said the police have noticed an increase in incidents of theft of motor vehicles as well as theft out of motor vehicles. People are especially vulnerable in areas such as the Westridge Gardens area in Morgenster Road.

Captain Williams said street robberies took place mostly in the Town Centre, specifically 4th Avenue, 7th Avenue, Symphony Walk between the library and hospital, 3rd Avenue and Calypso Square where the taxi rank is located and AZ Berman at the Promenade.

“Items mostly targeted are handbags, cellphones and cash. Suspects tend to grab the items out of the victims’ hands and run off. There have also been incidents of persons being threatened with knives,” he said.

The police said during the festive season they will focus on intelligence-driven and high visibility operations at all hot spots and that all stakeholders would be actively involved in the planning and execution of crime-combating operations.

Safety tips from the police:

Avoid parking your motor vehicle where there are no security officers guarding cars.

Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked and closed when you park your car.

Lock your valuable items in the boot of your car.

Remove detachable radios and the radio’s face when getting out of the car.

Try to fit an alarm or anti-theft device such as a gear lock in your car.

Do not leave your keys in the ignition.

Always try to walk in a group.

Keep valuables, cash and cellphones out of sight.

Always be aware of your surroundings, looking out for people standing on corners or people following you when walking over railway lines, through alleys and over deserted fields.

When travelling on foot, use busy routes.

Know your emergency numbers – dial 107 from a Telkom landline, or 021 480 7700 from a cell/Neotel phone for emergency services and 0860 10111 for Crime Stop. To report crime, call Mitchell’s Plain police on 021 370 1600, Lentegeur police on 021 377 5042 or Strandfontein police on 021 370 1500.