Crime soars in CT city centre

Despite 92 CCTV cameras and foot patrols, crime is reaching new highs in the city.

Long Street in the Cape Town CBD. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Despite the prevalence of CCTV cameras, foot patrols and a private-public crime-fighting partnership statistics show that robberies, burglaries and drug-related crimes have increased in the Cape Town CBD.

The police's crime statistics show a 36 percent increase in business break-ins and a 12 percent rise in aggravated robberies reported to the Cape Town Central Police Station during the past financial year.

City of Cape Town officials say they are reviewing their crime strategies in the city bowl and have called an urgent meeting to look into the issue.

There are 92 CCTV cameras in the city bowl and an average of 70 foot officers deployed to the area by the Central City Improvement District.

Despite these interventions, burglaries, muggings and drug-related crimes remain a problem.

The city's JP Smith says Long Street is one of the hot spots they have identified.

"We have a problem with muggings, especially when people become inebriated. Once people have had a few drinks too may the muggers have a much easier prey on Long Street."

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato says, "We have asked that the police increase their visibility in these hot spot areas."

Officials say a series of undercover operations will be carried out in an attempt to get a handle on the city's drug problem.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Community Safety Department has launched a new SMS line in a bid to get more feedback from people about policing in the province.

Communities have been asked to report incidents of bad policing as well as provide positive feedback using the SMS line, 35395.