Stats show slight drop in property crime

Mowbray police station.

Property-related crimes in the Rondebosch, Pinelands, Mowbray, Woodstock and Claremont police precincts have dropped slightly.

This is according to the latest crime statistics – for the period from April 1 last year to March 31 this year – released by Police Minister Bheki Cele last Friday.

Claremont’s property-related crime dropped from 1 489 cases reported for 2018/2019 to 1 472 cases for 2019/2020; Mowbray’s dropped from 436 to 433 cases; Woodstock dropped by 8.6% from 1 656 to 1 513; Rondebosch from 956 to 869; and Pinelands from 624 to 621 case.

The stats show increases nationally in murder, rape, assault and robbery.

The country’s murders rose 1.4%, from 21 022 to 21 325 cases. In the Western Cape, they dropped by one case, from 3 975 to 3 974 cases.

Delft has replaced Nyanga as South Africa’s murder capital. Delft’s murder cases rose 7.3%, from 247 to 265 cases, while Nyanga dropped 36%, from 289 to 185 cases, to fifth place.

Six Western Cape precincts – Delft, Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Mfuleni, Harare and Gugulethu – are among the country’s top-10 murder hot spots.

For the fourth year in a row, rape and other sexual assault cases have risen – 706 more rape cases have been recorded compared to the previous year (from 41 583 to 42 289).

In the Western Cape, there were 4 877 reported rape cases – 4.9% more than last year’s stats.

In Claremont there were seven rape cases reported and 12 sexual assaults, Pinelands had seven rape cases from four the previous year and three sexual assault cases, Woodstock saw a 52.9% drop from 17 to eight cases and Rondebosch had eight rape cases.

Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he had noted the increases in sexual assaults and rape cases.

“Sadly, some of the statistics released are over 12 months old, which impacts negatively on our ability to respond to changes in crime patterns,” he said. “Under the lockdown, the criminal landscape has changed drastically and therefore the statistics provided are largely unhelpful.”

Rondebosch police recorded its first murder case in over three years. Since 2009, the station has only recorded three murders, one in 2011/2012 and another two in 2015/2016.

There was a 16.7% decrease in theft out of or from motor vehicles, from 437 cases to 364; theft of motor vehicles and motorcycle increased by 5% from 179 to 188 cases, and there was a 42.4% decrease in cases of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, from 118 cases to 68.

The station, also saw a 8.4% decrease in burglary at residential premises from 323 to 296 cases, while commercial crime cases dropped from 101 to 94 and malicious damage to property from 49 to 46.

Rondebosch police spokesperson Warrant Officer Lydon Sisam said a 24-year-old man was arrested in Deceember in connnection with the murder of a 76-year old woman in her Rondebosch home Thursday December 5.

Warrant Officer Sisam said the police’s priority was always to keep the community of Rondebosch safe.

“We are committed to providing service of a high standard with the least inconvenience. There will always be room for improvement. But for now, we are confident that we are already showing improvement in all contact crimes,” said. Warrant Officer Sisam.

In Pinelands, there was a 52.3% drop in drug-related crimes, from 65 to 31 cases; malicious damage to property went from 46 to 34 cases – a decrease of 26.1.5%, while there was a 22.2% drop in vehicle theft, from 81 to 63 cases.

Robbery with aggravating circumstances rose from 132 to 164 cases; theft out of or from motor vehicles increased by 32.6%, from 242 to 321 cases; common assault from 65 to 74; and common robbery increased by 28.2% from 39 to 50.

There was seven rapes reported, compared to three last year.

Robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 16.4% in Mowbray, from 110 to 128 cases; malicious damage to property rose from 93 to 109 cases while commercial crime went from 63 to 74 cases – a 17.5% increase.

Burglary at non-residential premises dropped by 14.3%, from 21 to 18 cases, and theft out of motor vehicles saw a 6.4% decrease from 171 to 160 cases.

Jonathan Hobday, chairman of Mowbray Community Police Forum (CPF) said the incidence of crime had remained stable on the low side for a long time and even dropped significantly during the lockdown.

He said they were, however, concerned about burglaries and there had been a crowbar attack reported over the weekend.

“There is clearly a lot of opportunist activity happening with lots of petty theft being reported in the last month or so. Operations at Mowbray police station appear to be returning to normal, and the added security offered by the community improvement districts and private security in the area, as well as the

“WhatsApp alerts from residents, have been helpful in containing crime,” he said.

Woodstock saw a 41.7% drop in burglary at non-residential premises from 199 to 116 cases; burglary at residential premises went from 348 to 280 cases – a 19.5% decrease; commercial crime decreased from 183 to 156 cases; and shoplifting cases went from 93 to 81.

And while there was a slight drop in theft out of vehicles, from 879 to 872, Woodstock CPF chairman Youssef Kanouni said they were concerned about the number of car batteries being stolen.

“We receive reports daily of car batteries being stolen and feel it might be a syndicate targeting the cars parked outside especially in upper Woodstock.

“We have informed the police and want residents to know that we are aware of the issue and trying to address it,” he said.