People in Sybrand Park have pledged to reclaim their streets following an increase in crime. At a meeting held on Monday, 29 January residents committed themselves to joining neighbourhood watches and forming street committees, says Mowbray Police spokesperson Inspector Arthur Minaar. "The move follows a tremendous increase in crime during the month of January. In Prieska Road alone there were nine houses burgled in two weeks," says Minaar.
Compared to crime statistics for January last year, crime not only escalated but was also prevalent in residential areas as opposed to last year's increase in business area crimes, says Minaar.
"During the meeting, some of the residents argued that ADT security was not doing what they are supposed to do. Others pointed their fingers at the SAPS for not doing their bit. I was able to prove them wrong, as I am in close contact with ADT and have experienced that SAPS regularly patrol the area. This has resulted in the arrests of some burglars."
The spike in crime is largely due to resident's negligence, Minaar believes. Although many of the houses have alarms, residents leave them unarmed. "I cited two incidents which happened Monday while patrolling and handing out flyers for the meeting. I noticed one house where the big driveway gate was standing wide open. I entered and saw someone grinding on the wall not knowing I was there. I also noticed the garage standing wide open, with tools and other goods exposed."
"In the other situation I noticed a front door standing ajar. After knocking and getting no answer, I entered and found the alarm installer and asked him where the residents were. He took me to the bedroom where the maid was busy and admitted that she forgot to lock the burglar door."
Minaar is appealing to residents to be more alert and thanked those who attended the meeting for their cooperation.
The first workshop for the formation of street committees for surveillance of streets in Sybrand Park, will be held at the Christ Church in Elgin Street, Sybrand Park on Saturday, 10 February.