Cape Town city expects crime rate to increase in alert level 1, Newsline

Cape Town- The City anticipates that crime will increase even more under alert level 1, as more people start to move around.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the City noted a gradual increase in crime in and around the CBD since the easing of the hard lockdown, alert level 5.

“This is not surprising, as the easing of restrictions meant an increase in the movement of persons and resumption of economic activity.

“There has also been an increase in the number of drunk driving arrests, motor vehicle accidents and trauma/assault calls that were detected in recent months, following the unbanning of alcohol sales,” said Smith.

He added that crime would likely increase even more under alert level 1.

“During the hard lockdown, much of the City’s enforcement resources were devoted to working with the SAPS on enforcing lockdown regulations.

“Since the introduction of alert level 1, there is greater scope to resume normal operations and enforcement activities to deal with other matters like traffic and by-law transgressions,” said Smith.

Spokesperson for the Department of Health Mark van der Heever said data from their facilities indicated that the increase in alcohol-related trauma has settled to pre-Covid-19 levels.

“The link between alcohol and trauma cases is well established but not all trauma cases are alcohol-related,” said Van der Heever.

Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) manager of safety and security, Mo Hendricks said: “There has been a slight increase in petty crime in the CBD since the level 1 lockdown regulations were enforced.

With restrictions easing, especially regarding the curfew and the sale of alcohol, we have found that there has been more fighting in public, we recorded 28 incidents in September.

“Incidents of common robbery, especially of cellphones, and theft out of motor vehicles increased.”

He said with more and more people coming back to town, especially at night to enjoy the nightlife, it stands to reason that this kind of petty crime will escalate.

He said people are often not vigilant and are careless with their belongings when they are having fun.

However, he said the CCID was not concerned about this slight increase in petty crime.

“We anticipated it would occur.

“Our public safety officers, who work 24/7 in the CBD, are deployed strategically where and when the need arises, and they have had great success in preventing incidents from occurring and apprehending the perpetrators.

“We also conduct crime-prevention operations with our partners, the SAPS, the City of Cape Town law enforcement and metro police to ensure that the central city is safe,” said Hendricks.

From June to August, CCID’s safety and security made 56 arrests with law enforcement and carried out nearly 7 000 crime-prevention initiatives.