The long awaited South African Police stats have been released for the 2010/11 financial year and have revealed that 467 houses were burgled in Jeffreys Bay during that time.
This averages out at 39 homes per month for the once peaceful seaside village where residents could sleep at night with unlocked doors and open windows without fear of becoming a victim of crime.
A sudden influx of people as well as crime syndicates operating from outside Jeffreys Bay are the chief causes of the house breaking epidemic facing the town.
An analysis of burglaries country wide shows that most homes are invaded between 10 pm and 4 am.
The gangs operate mostly in 2 – 3 person groups, often with a single fire arm. Occupied homes are targeted more because the chances of cash, laptops and cell phones being on the premises are higher.
The gangs select their targets based on appearance (an impression that a target may offer rich pickings) as well as opportunity i.e open windows, no alarm, open doors and easy escape routes.
There has been a significant increase in the theft of motor vehicles from Jeffreys Bay with 53 being reported stolen. This is up from 38 the previous year.
The positive news is that Jeffreys Bay has become a safer place to live with only 3 murders being reported (down from 8 the previous year).
The murder rate is regarded as being the best indicator of crime in a country as very few murders go unreported while many house burglaries as an example are not reported.
Assaults are also down mainly due to the Jeffreys Bay Police clamping down on the shebeens in the town where many assaults take place.
Drug arrests have increased which is pleasing to note as this is a crime where the Police have to “generate” arrests.
There is also an increase in drink driving cases due to the close co-operation between the Kouga Municipality Traffic Officers and the Police.