Burglary in Table View and surrounds has steadily increased in the last five years according to the released crime statistics.
This is no surprise to Table View police station commander, Col Dirk Vosloo.
“Table View is in policing terms known as a property crime station due to the volumes of property crimes reported in the station area yearly. In the last five years burglary has increased by 24.5%, in the last three years with 10% and year on year by 14.3%.”
Vosloo reckons one of the reasons for this is down to the perception that the area is seen as an affluent one by criminals.
“There are specific areas that attract more burglaries than other areas,” he continues.
“In the Parklands area, the block between Raats Drive on the South, Wood Drive on the West, Sanddown on the North and Gie Road on the East, are targeted mostly due to the geographical placement of the area.
“It is easily accessible from the bushy areas along the railway line and N7 areas. The new Sanddown extension will also have its influence on the crime of the area.
“There will be easy access to the N7.”
He adds that the increase in area size is having a direct impact on the response times of the police to deal with this crime effectively.
Continues Vosloo: “Table View is growing at a rapid rate towards the north of the precinct. Most development is in the Parklands and Sunningdale area. There is a daily influx of people into the area.”
This expansion places even further strain on the desperately low number of police officers as reported on 7 August in the TygerBurger article entitled “Police in short supply”.
The police to population ratio in Table View is approximately three times lower than the provincial average.
According to Dan Plato, Western Cape MEC of Community Safety there is only one Table View police officer per every 721 citizens.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape apparently boasts an average of one officer for every 245 citizens and in South Africa the ratio is one officer per every 303 citizens.
Says Vosloo: “Staffing of a police station is done from a provincial level and locally we have no role to play.”
“Many factors influence staffing levels at a police station, but the number of serious (contact) crimes like, murder, rape and aggravated robbery play a major role. Table View is not a big contributor to those crimes if one look at the provincial picture.”
Table View’s murder rates are one of the lowest in the country, with only six from April 2012 to March 2013. This figure has been decreasing over the last few years.
There has been a 12.2% increase in murders in the province during 2012/2013.
Vosloo’s frank dissection of the statistics is a breath of fresh air in comparison with his peers throughout the province.
A few days after the statistics were released Plato said: “Not only are we not given access to crime statistics, we are also not given any information to indicate where problematic areas are.
“The people of this province deserve these answers.
“The key indicators have shown an increase when compared with last year, while others have shown a decrease. Out of 28 crime categories, 22 have shown dramatic increases – this is simply unacceptable.”
. Common robbery (mostly the grabbing of handbags and cellphones) has steadily increased in Table View over the years.
“We will continue to patrol the hotspots and make people aware through the media and by handing out pamphlets in these hotspot areas,” says Vosloo.
“It is important to make people aware not to ‘display’ their cellphones to potential robbers. Through police patrols, we observed many people, especially students, busy on their cellphones completely cut off from the world around them.”
He concludes by saying that Table View is “very fortunate” that there is a massive growing interest in community mobilisation in the past 12-18 months.
“The Community Police Forum together with the neighbourhood watch structures in the three sectors, are doing amazing work to be the eyes and ears of the police and in patrolling their streets, day and night.
“As a station commander, I am really humbled by their contribution.”