As lockdown restrictions have eased from level 5 to 2 and people have taken advantage of more freedom of movement, crime rates have understandably risen. As a result, we and our partners have been working hard to ensure a safer environment within the VRCID area.
From when lockdown started on 27 March through to 31 July 2020, we made a total of 31 arrests and held 5 crime prevention operations with our partners SAPS and Law Enforcement. Of those 31 arrests, 9 were captured and arrested by careful monitoring of the our 71 CCTV cameras.
One such incident involved a CCTV controller observing a suspicious person walking in Picton Street in Parow, holding two crates of Sasko bread. Response vehicles were informed, and our Public Safety Officers (PSOs) found the suspect, who was questioned and arrested for possession of stolen goods. The driver of the bread truck was later located, who confirmed that two crates of bread were stolen, and a case against the suspect has been opened on behalf of Sasko.
The top three complaints from members of the public logged by our control room during this period were rowdy and anti-social behaviour by sex workers, trespassing by homeless individuals on private property, and illegal dumping by businesses. We are working to address all of these issues and continue the improvement of our area.
As our COO Derek Bock explains, “Our cleaning team have remained on the front lines to try and curb illegal dumping, by collecting tons of litter each month, mainly due to inconsiderate businesses and members of the public who litter our streets. Our social development team, along with our valued partners, have worked tirelessly during lockdown to support shelters and vulnerable people. In the 50 days during level 4 and 5 lockdown alone, Mould Empower Serve (MES), VRCID and partners served 81 900 meals to the homeless and vulnerable.”
We are keen to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work done by our Social Development team under the leadership of Wilma Piek and also to our NGO partners who did the best they could with the limited funds at their disposal. It continues to be absolutely crucial that everyone abides by the lockdown rules. Please continue to restrict your movement as much as possible, for both your health and your safety. If you are on the move, please report anything suspicious to our 24hr control room on 072 7927168 and we can continue to keep you safe.