Local police address safety fears

“There is a feeling among people in Fresnaye that crime has got out of hand and it’s unnerving.”

Statements like this, raised at a community meeting on Wednesday 5 September, captured the sentiment of Fresnaye residents following a reported increase in crime reports on social media.

The meeting was called by the Sea Point Community Policing Forum and Sea Point police to address the perception that house break-ins and home invasions have increased over the last few months.

In attendance were Colonel Christo Engelbrecht, acting station commander for Sea Point police, as well as Cape Town cluster acting commander Brigadier Lillian van Wyk, and representatives from the City of Cape Town’s Traffic Services and Law Enforcement departments.

Engelbrecht assured residents that, although the station is not allowed to release statistics until they have been issued by the national police commissioner, there has not been a change in the numbers for house break-ins or house robberies in the sector.

“That crime is under control. There is no increase in housebreaking and house robbery,” he stated.

Van Wyk added: “It’s not to say that your crime is not important. There might be no increase, but the crime happening to you is close to your heart.”

She added that Sea Point police boast crime figures that are below the other eight precincts in the cluster.

When residents asked for confirmation on whether there had been five break-ins in two weeks, or 10 robberies in the last two months, as suggested by social media posts, Van Wyk confirmed that neither of these figures were correct.

Those at Wednesday’s meeting also raised information mentioned in a meeting organised by a group of concerned residents under the banner of the Fresnaye Safety Initiative. The meeting, last month, was reportedly to discuss the feelings of residents around crime issues in the neighbourhood.

Representatives of the initiative declined to comment at this stage, saying the organisation had not yet been officially formed and was still in the exploratory phase.