Socio-economic challenges in Joe Slovo Park and Du Noon continue to affect crime statistics in Milnerton police’s precinct.

At first glance the recently released statistics for the period between April 2012 to March 2013 in Milnerton and surrounds look worrying.
Murders have gone up from 35 to 45, robbery with aggravating circumstances from 238 to 325 and burglary at residential premises from 602 to 795.
Of the 29 listed crime categories, only 10 have shown a decrease.
The biggest of these were the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition that went down from 29 to 19 and commercial crime from 578 to 484.
The latter is countered, however, by the dramatic increase in robbery at non-residential premises that shot up from 27 to 70.
One of the most serious “crimes” in the area isn’t even included in the statistics – apathy.
Milnerton police station commander, Brig Marius Stander, elaborates: “We organise many crime prevention meetings, but when the day comes that room is empty. People must be informed and become aware. Knowledge directly affects the individual’s safety.
“One could hear at these meetings that crime is up in your street and you could realise it’s because the street lights are not working or because the municipal grass needs cutting.”
Stander is jealous of the way the community pulls together just a few kilometres to the north in Table View and surrounds where there has been a tremendous growth in the local neighbourhood watch and street committees.
How long it will take for Milnerton to realise that this is the only way to go, is uncertain.
Stander admits that the community and the police should be pooling their resources and working together.
“The community are our eyes and ears. Without them there will be no witnesses when a suspect appears in court. Also, if they don’t look after their possessions by activating their alarms or leaving it on their car seat then our job becomes much harder,” he says.
Regarding the unfavourable statistics, Stander emphasises that it is no surprise, since they work with it on a daily basis.
“It is a reality for us. We are worried about housebreakings in the Milnerton Central area and the more serious robberies in Du Noon and Joe Slovo. These two areas receive special attention.”
He adds that about 98 % of the murders happened in one of these two areas.
Stander reckons the best way to get the crime under control in these areas is social upliftment.
“Living conditions there are dire in some places. Various resources could be improved such as lighting and especially unemployment. In an ideal world we would have a police station in Du Noon.”
Milnerton’s statistics are roughly in line with those in the province, with 22 categories showing a dramatic increase as opposed to 19 in Milnerton.
The most serious of these increases (percentage increase in brackets) are murder (12.2%), attempted murder (40.9%), aggravated robbery (21.4%), illegal possession of firearm (21.4%), carjacking (45.6%), cash in transit robbery (114.3%), robbery at residential premises (22.5%) and robbery at non-residential premises (23.4%).
Dan Plato, Western Cape MEC of Community Safety, finds these increases “totally unacceptable” and reckons one of the ways to keep the public in the loop is to release statistics more regularly.
Says Plato: “Crime statistics provide a measure of success of policing, but they are also a valuable tool for responding to crime patterns and directing valuable resources to where they are most needed. This can only be done by having access to statistics on a regular basis, so that various role-players such as other government departments and civil society can respond to the changing crime patterns and help to prevent crime.”