There has been a notable increase in store robberies in the Mitchell’s Plain area, the most recent of which led to the death of a security guard outside a jewellery store at the busy Town Centre on Monday. Speaking to VOC Breakfast Beat, chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum (CPF), Abie Isaacs, said it would be impossible to pinpoint the exact reasons for the increase. However, he strongly condemned the acts that were taking place and extended the forum’s condolences towards the family of the deceased security guard.
The same store had been targeted by robbers twice in one week. On Thursday, robbers again walked into the store, held two female staff hostage and fired several shots. Four suspects aged between 19 and 36 were arrested, after the hostage situation was diffused. Retailers and shoppers have bemoaned the level of crime in the area. Isaacs said the forum, as well as the local police were working tireless to curb such incidents.
“From our side as the Community Policing Forum and the South African Police Services (SAPS), there has been a maximum deployment. There has been high visibility from the police’s side,” he said.
Isaacs pleaded with all property owners within the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre, both formal and informal to sit around the table with the law enforcement agencies to bring about a remedy to the current situation.
He also thanked the organization – Western Cape Business against Crime – who had informally communicated with the CPF that they would be willing to meet to discuss ways to curb the escalating crisis.
“We are hoping to formulate a meeting so that we can, as ourselves representing the community, and Business against Crime representing businesses, sit around the table and resolve the current situation,” he said.
Isaacs expressed hope that businesses within the Mitchell’s Plain area could help fast track the process in creating a formal structure to deal with such incidents.
“We need to understand, coming to the town centre itself, there is a lot of dynamics like internal conflicts amongst traders. We are hoping that those matters can be put to bed, so that we can remedy and make the Town Centre safe again,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)