JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News on Wednesday learnt that a spike in crime in Sandton in northern Johannesburg has led to detectives and specialised unit members being sent out on street patrols.
Police said this was not impacting on their daily duties.
But some officers complained about not being able to investigate cases while doing the work usually done by uniformed members.
Bryanston, Parkmore, Riverclub, Illovo Manor, Kelvin, Buccleuch and Marlboro Gardens appeared to be some of the areas which were particularly hard-hit by house robberies and hijackings.
It was understood detectives and members of specialised units responsible for cracking cold-cases or chasing wanted suspects were pulled in to help with police visibility.
Officers told Eyewitness News the entire Sandton and surrounding suburbs was under siege.
Sandton police spokesperson Kym Cloete said the new strategy was in response to shifting crime patterns.
She said investigators performed undercover duties and could also do their regular work out in the streets.
The new patrols had been in place for at least two weeks.
It was not yet clear how long they would continue for.
TIPS TO KEEP SAFE
Community members are warned to remain alert at all times, and the following preventative tips should assist towards maintaining their safety:
- Know your local patrol vehicle’s cell phone number. This cannot be highlighted enough. They are the nearest vehicle to you, and can offer the fastest possible response time.
- Entering and exiting residences are a vulnerable time. Remain alert to vehicles in the surroundings, and contact SAPS immediately if someone or vehicle appears suspicious. A vehicle with three or more males inside would come across as suspicious, as that is the modus operandi of robbers.
- Ensure that shrubs and trees are trimmed back - burglars and robbers will use them as concealment while gaining access or while watching you. Plants with prickly thorns are natural deterrents and cause discomfort for possible criminals.
- Don’t leave anything in the yard, or accessible that can be used by criminals to gain access to your house, eg. pick ax which can be used to force a door open. Criminals are easily identified by police based on the tools they carry with them, however if tools are easily available at the residence then the criminals don’t need to carry suspicious equipment with them.
- Small dogs that sleep inside the house are a deterrent to robberies, as they are highly alert and will create a disturbance quickly.
- It is important to use extreme caution when hiring domestic workers and gardeners, as they have easy access to your premises and will learn your routine quickly. Have records of employees and keep track of references.
- People walking in the street randomly ringing intercoms are suspicious, that is a tactic used by house breakers to determine if no one is in the residence. Answer the intercom, do not give the impression that no one is home, but do not go outside unnecessarily.