From the news desk

Oceanview crime out of control: CPF

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After the release of the national 2015/2016 crime statistics, concerns have been raised after a noticeable increase in crimes coming from the Ocean View precinct. Sexual assault cases, common assault cases and reported murdered cases are the categories that have seen the most increase.

Sexual cases have increased by 27.5% and common assault cases have a total of 153 cases in comparison to last year’s 106 cases. The most alarming increase comes from the reported murder category with a 58% increase (increased from 26 cases in the previous year to 41). The number of murders is the highest recorded in the last 10 years in the precinct. The increases are believed to be a direct result of gang-activity.

“Crime in Ocean View are very high, I think it is the highest in our Wynberg cluster and a lot of it has been attributed to gangs and drugs,” said Kathy Cronje, chairperson for the Ocean View CPF, told VOC Breakfast Beat.

The Ocean View precinct last year went through a spate of murders between the months April and September, and that area has already had a case of a triple-murder in one week.

“I think you have got to go back and look at the grass roots of what is going on,” she said further.

“I think the unemployment rate is very high at the moment and the economy is bad. It is also as if the area has been forgotten and now people are turning to drugs as an escape.”

Cronje adds that the community in the past did not trust the police, saying that the community once believed that the police are corrupt and that some members still believing it to be true. The result of the mistrust causes for crime to not be reporter besides murder.

“We had a meeting last night where there many grievances against the police for not opening cases and for not responding. Members are complaining about not enough visibility in the community,” says Cronje.

“The police are also under-resourced that makes it a lose-lose situation”.

Cronje states that there are neighbourhood watches in the area that have created Whatsapp groups to stay in contact with each other. The neighbourhood watches have however become more active.

“To get the neighbourhood watches up and running was a huge step considering that everybody was once scared to go out on the streets. The neighbourhood watches are the greatest thing that has sprung up in the last few months,” states Cronje.

Cronje adds that Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has demonstrated the ‘walking-bus’ in the area, which aims to ensure safety for school children that walk to school and home but that the demonstration has not started working yet.

VOC (Imran Salie)

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