The Jeffreys Bay community has reacted with disbelief and and anger over the rape that took place last week in Wavecrest. A 23 year old woman’s life was forever altered when she was raped by a housebreaker in her flat situated in a secure complex.

The main concern of the community is that Jeffreys Bay is heading along the same path as a place like Johannesburg. Crime there started with housebreaking’s which then became progressively violent.

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Wavecrest in particular has suffered continual housebreaking’s over the past few years.  The easy access to the national highways make the suburb a target for the out of town syndicates who drive to Jeffreys Bay, drop off gang members who then roam around looking for houses to break into. The bushy kloofs also make it easy for local housebreakers to move undetected around the suburb with Noorsekloof being a prime example.

The sheer number of homeless people who are living in makeshift shelters along the beachfront and on building sites also contributes to the crime situation as some of them will make use of an opportunity should one arise. Open windows and unsecured doors make a house a target for random housebreakings.

The lack of crime statistics does not help  matters either and we have to work on 2009/2010 stats which revealed that Jeffreys Bay suffered about 40 housebreaking’s a month. A large proportion of these invasions took place in Wavecrest and there is little reason to believe the situation is any different at present.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Public apathy is the biggest threat to containing the crime problem in Jeffreys Bay and turning the tide. Unfortunately many people have an opinion about crime but are not prepared to actually become involved and do something about it. The argument that taxes are paid and the Police should do their job does nothing to solve the situation.

The Police simply do not have the manpower to effectively combat all the crime taking place in Jeffreys Bay. The growth of the town has not resulted in more Policemen on the beat and the community must realize this unfortunate fact.

The Neighbourhood Watches play an important role in the fight against crime with Aston Bay and Paradise Beach leading the way with strong Watches who are not afraid to challenge people they believe have no right to be in their suburbs, especially after dark. The result is that these two suburbs have relatively low rates of crime.

Residents are invited to attend the meeting of the Community Police Forum (CPF) tonight at the Jeffreys Bay Police Station. The meeting starts at 6 PM. This is the right forum to raise concerns and become part of the solution. We all know what the problems are, but how are we going to fix them?

All are welcome to attend the CPF meeting and one does not have to be a member of a Neighbourhood Watch to join the CPF. More information can be obtained from the secretary of the CPF, Sue Smit by emailing her at sue@petimberhomes.co.za

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