By Ragheema Mclean
As the festive season reaches its peak, anti-crime experts have advised South Africans to remain vigilant as we start the new year.
Experts have also stressed the need for heightened awareness whether you are at home, in your car, at the beach or any other public spaces.
Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Tuesday, Cape Town Cluster CPF Justin Kumlehn warned citizens to be cautious during this time of year as criminals don’t take festive breaks.
Kumlehn explained: “You need to be cautious throughout the year, during this time of the year we particularly see more opportunistic crimes.”
He said during the holiday period there is usually an increase in petty crimes and could include smash and grabs and even heightened incidents of pick pocketing.
“Crime in general throughout the year is bad and we need to be vigilant at all times.”
“We’ve seen numerous reports where people were just walking in a crowded area and their phones or bags gets pickpocketed.”
“Obviously a lot of people are still in a celebratory mood, and we welcome that, but we need to remain vigilant at all times.”
Kumlehn further stressed how crucial it is to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has expressed concern about the high number of people who were killed in the province this past weekend.
According to the police, at least 10 people were murdered in separate incidents across the province. Some of the victims were shot while others were stabbed to death.
Police are investigating the possibility that the murders might be related to gang violence in the province.
Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, said each and every murder is deeply concerning.
“These murders have turned what should have been a weekend of gratitude and celebration into one of pain and despair for many families. We cannot start the new year with life disregarded in this manner.”