Crime appears to be getting closer to home; if you haven’t recently been a victim of crime, it’s possible a member of your family or even a colleague may have fallen prey. We need to ask why.
In accordance to the crime statistics, the number of annually reported criminal activity is in fact coming down. But are we being gullible by believing everything we read without questioning or analysing the criminal activity reported?
When it comes to crime, we at the CID are well placed to differentiate between ‘crime stories’ and understanding what is actually going on out there.
When I grew up, we did not have high walls and gates with spikes in my neighbourhood and electrified fencing was unheard of. All we had was an invisible border between our property and the neighbour’s; we all lived in perfect harmony. We were on first name terms with neighbours and we could identify the vehicles they drove, what work they did and at any time, if something was amiss, Little Johnny could run across, check it out and report back that all was in order. If something was wrong, help was at hand and necessary steps were taken to help.
Today, do we even know who our neighbours are, or what school their children attend? Should we not be looking back on the past and asking why it worked exceptionally well in those days? And why not now?
I follow a simple policy I refer to as “Eyes and Ears”. When I see something that “just doesn’t feel right”, I pick up the phone; or when I hear strange noises during the day- or nighttime, I pick up the phone. Why? Because I stand a better chance at squelching a potential crime when I react and make my presence felt than when I’m a passive bystander.
So let’s become proactive. We all maintain our property with preventive maintenance, and I believe we can do the same in our neighbourhood to prevent crime. Be alert, know your area, understand the different routines of friends, service providers, etc. Report that broken street lamp, tell people what you see and hear – it all makes a difference, no matter how trivial it may seem. If your gesture prevents just one act of criminal intent, we are already better off.
This doesn’t only apply at home. Be vigilant when you travel in a car, a bus, a taxi. Remember to invoke “Eyes and Ears”; it works anywhere. And tell someone.
Tip of the Hat to a Maverick
Officer Nico JJ Ras knows about service delivery. Afterall, the veteran law enforcement officer, who heads up a Protection Services unit under the City’s Law Enforcement Parks & Forest wing, has made a career of it for the past 40 years.
Law enforcement officials clock long hours implementing the city’s by-laws, which may include waste, security, signage, illegal dumping, noise and nuisance control, but also security and street crime control. Officer Ras is responsible for his division extending from Llandadno, Oudekraal, Camps Bay, Cape Town CBD, through Salt River and Paarden Eiland.
Officer Ras names vagrancy as one of the top issues he faces day-to-day and there are many associated problems that stem from it, such as mountain fires, he says. “We used to experience up to 50 mountain fires a year, but since our involvement, we’ve brought it down to about four a year.”
He started his career in policing when he was 18 at the Police College in Pretoria and spent nine years at the barracks in Caledon Square. In 1976 Officer Ras wrote a qualifying exam to enter law enforcement under the Cape City Council. The highlights of his career were undoubtedly spent culling Himalayan tahrs from the Table Mountain National Park back in the 1970s, heading up the equestrian unit and cruising his land cruiser around the nature reserves with his loyal fox terrier, Lappies, at his side.
While Officer Ras, 58, plans to retire from his day job later this year, he shows no signs of slowing down. His love for the great outdoors will endure, he says. Plans to move to Langebaan are in the offing, where he’ll put his sea legs to the test at the Langebaan Yacht Club and don a chefs hat while serving up a potjie or spitbraai.
1. People's Post - 29 May 2007
2. Know your sector managers
Do you know about sector policing?
The new sector management policing system has been working extremely well over the past couple of months. However, many of us do not know what this new system is.
It simply means that Cape Town was subdivided into four small sections, each with dedicated police personnel and response vehicles. Director Barnes, the new Station Commander of Cape Town Central, placed each sector under a senior police officer’s command. This system makes our city much more manageable as specific individuals are accountable for each area. The concept of sector policing allows for a focused approach to policing an area.
Cape Town also armed these senior officers with cellular phones so they could be available to take calls from the public when situations in their neighbourhoods need attention. While the senior officers may not always be on duty when a call comes through, they will immediately channel the call to a relevant and competent police officer.
So who are your sector managers?
Sector 1 - Superintendent Christo Engelbrecht - 0823018715
(Central Business District (CBD))
Sector 2 - Captain Joggie Jansen - 0823020274
(Gardens, Vredehoek, Oranjezicht)
Sector 3 - Superintendent Neels Klaasen - 0823018573
(Tamboerskloof, Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain National Parks (TMNP))
Sector 4 - Captain Johannes Swanepoel - 0823019285
This information was supplied by the Community Police Forum (CPF) - Cape Town Central. This and additional information can be found on our website at http://www.cpfctn.co.za. Information on the website includes other contact numbers and a diary section of upcoming protest marches, pickets and road closures.
Published with permission from Community Police Forum.
3. Protea Hotel Sea Point to the Rescue
Word on the street was the District Six Haven Night Shelter was in dire need of assistance with soap and toiletries.
The Oranje-Kloof City Improvement District reacted by making details of the request widely known and circulated the plea for help. The Protea Hotel Sea Point heeded the call by providing a quantity of soap that helped meet immediate needs, along with a generous donation of bath towels. In addition, the hotel committed to ongoing assistance.
The Haven Night Shelter is a non-profit welfare organisation providing shelters and support to the homeless. Donations are intended to benefit people who pass through the shelter each day, even if only for a hot shower and a clean-up.
So how can you help? Make a donation or offer your volunteer services. Here follows the contact details:
District Six Haven Night Shelter
20 Selkirk Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 465 - 1310
Fax: 021 465 - 7774
4. Message from the Mayor regarding the Metro Police
Recent questions from the public spawned a message of clarification from Mayor Helen Zille about the future of the Metro Police, which is a separate police force from the SAPS, and which falls under the authority of the City of Cape Town. The Mayor spells out the role of the Metro Police, and commented on some of the proposed changes to how they will be managed in the near future.
The City’s core policing functions as described in national legislation and the Constitution are the enforcement of by-laws and traffic laws and regulations, and the SAPS, which falls under the Provincial Government, is responsible for crime prevention.
However, “over the years the Metro Police have shifted their main operational priority to crime prevention in order to cover deficiencies in the SAPS,” says the Mayor. “It has been found that about 75% of their time is now devoted to crime prevention, while only about 25% is spent on traffic and by-law enforcement. It should be the other way around – otherwise our roads will become increasingly dangerous and chaotic, and our public places will become lawless. We intend to get back to carrying out our legislated mandate.”
The Mayor advocates a major shift in the way police are deployed and wants to re-establish the operational parameters that will forge the relationship between the two levels of policing.
Please visit below for the full report.
Use this handy checklist as a reminder to help you reduce the chances of being the victim of crime in the workplace.
- Safeguard cell phones, keys, purses and other personal valuables.
- When leaving the office, clear up and secure your workspace, and pay special attention to confidential documents.
- Protect company equipment assigned to you.
- When handling cash as part of your job, insist on positive identification before cashing any cheques and refuse questionable currency.
- If you work in a retail establishment or a similar business, guard against shoplifting and employee theft; operate within the framework of the law.
- To deter shoplifting, always speak with customers. Be wary of bulky jackets, shopping bags, partially opened umbrellas, folded newspapers, etc.
- Know your company's policy for dealing with shoplifters and adhere to it.
- Refrain from discussing company affairs outside of the workplace.
- Support your employer's safety and security programme and comply with these regulations. Insist that others do the same.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
For more information on the latest hotspots and areas of concern please visit
As per usual, we also urge everyone to be vigilant at all times and to report any suspicious activities to their nearest SAPS station.
Liquor licence applications for the month of May:
Nightingales Café, Cape Town
Beulah Bar & Lounge, Green Point
The Dubliner At Kennedy's, Cape Town
Junction Café, Green Point
The Cage, Cape Town
Cape Town Wine Route.Com, Cape Town
BRONX, Green Point
Published with permission from Community Police Forum.
Dates to diarise
1st National Festival of Golf email@example.com www.golffestival.co.za
Date: 4 - 10 June 2007
Venue: Various on the Cape Garden Route
Tel: 021 425 4889 / 0861 634 653
Portugal National Day Yacht Race firstname.lastname@example.org www.rcyc.co.za
Date: 9 June 2007
Venue: Table Bay, Cape Town
Tel: 021 421 1354
Public Holiday: Youth Day
Date: 16 June 2007
The Great White Shark Festival email@example.com www.whitesharkfestival.org
Date: 16 - 17 June 2007
Venue: Kleinbaai Harbour, Gansbaai
Tel: 028 312 3287
UCI “B” World Championships - Track firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 26 June – 1 July 2007
Venue: Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town
Tel: 021 438 8181
UCI “B” World Championships - Road email@example.com
Date: 29 June - 1 July 2007
Venue: Cape Town
Tel: 021 438 8181
24 Hour Emergencies - all emergencies
107 (from a landline)
021 480 7700 (from a cell phone)
021 423 3210
Disaster Risk Management Centre (Head office, 24 hours)
021 597 5111
Disaster Operations Centre (24 hours)
021 597 5000
Fraud Hotline (toll free)
080 032 3130
Electricity queries - City of Cape Town supply area
086 012 5014
Electricity queries - ESKOM supply areas
086 003 7566
Motor Vehicle Licence Department
086 010 3089
Metropolitan Police Department (Policing, Traffic and Licencing, Law Enforcement, Social crime prevention, Public Safety, Internal and civilian affairs)
021 596 1400 / 1999
Dial-a-ride Transport for Disabled Passengers
080 060 0895
Traffic Signal Faults
080 000 1948
Transport, Roads and Storm Water (including water pollution)
021 957 4700
Water Services (Incl. flooding and oil spills)
021 957 4726
City Health Services (Head Office) 021 400 2100
Refuse / Black Bins / Collections
021 957 4700 / 0800 103 054
Call Centre - (black/wheelie bins)
Events & Film Office
021 483 9060