Velddrif, Noordhoek, Laaiplek, Port Owen, de Plaat, Dwarskersbos, and Aurora used to be low-crime areas where people felt safe. We are still a relatively safe area: we do not have as much crime as several other towns. But, just as petty crime and serious crime have become a reality of life in the cities, they are also a reality of life here.
We need to protect ourselves. The police and neighbourhood watches cannot be everywhere all the time. So we must all be aware of the dangers of walking around in isolated places, of leaving doors, windows and garages open, and of leaving our property outside our houses.
December 2021 was relatively quiet for most of the town, although farms in our area experienced theft of cables, solar panel units, and batteries for cell phone towners. Two persons have recently been arrested in connection with this. Business premises were largely untargeted. But this is changing in January, with 3 breaking and entering incidents reported to the time of writing this newsletter. A worrying new trend is the breaking into of air conditioner units to steal the copper inside the unit. A restaurant recently suffered R20,000 damage to the air conditioner units.
The biggest problem for the police recently has become the large number of fraud cases: 6 or 7 per month. Please tell everyone you know, and especially the not-so-young who seem to be too trusting of nice-sounding people who phone them, to be very suspicious of people who phone them to sell them items or ask them for their banking details. No bank will phone anyone, or sms them, to ask them for passwords, credit card details, PIN numbers and so on. If you receive such a call, tell the caller you will phone them back. Rather contact your bank yourself to ask whether they need information from you. When planning to buy something, first do your homework: research the company to identify whether it is a reputable company. Advise people who are not very tech-savvy, or familiar with social media, to ask someone else for help and advice.
Let’s be proactive, not reactive. Secure your premises and your possessions, and also your information. Don’t walk alone in isolated areas where you could be mugged. Make it difficult for criminals to turn you into a victim.
Source: Joan Du Plessis (Assistance in Document Analysis & Design)