The past week has seen a few scary housebreakings in Jeffreys Bay. In two of them, women in the homes woke up and literally walked into the robbers while they were going about their nefarious business.
In both instances both women were unharmed physically in the home invasions, because they are exactly that; an invasion of our privacy, of our space and the invasion of our very souls.
The aftermath of being robbed while one is at home cannot be underestimated. Victims can feel violated or angry or scared after having their safe place, their very sanctuary invaded by shameless thieves who target occupied homes because they are looking for laptops, cell phones, cameras and cash.
The brazen method of simply smashing a window to lift the window catch and gain entry means the thieves are aware the occupants of the houses could awaken and that confrontation could occur. The thieves are alert and full of adrenaline and sometimes even drugs like Tic as they enter homes. Occupants on the other hand, are sleepy, unprepared and easy targets, generally
The house robberies in Jeffreys Bay are at least non violent. The thieves seem to want to take what they can and get out of the house with as little fuss as possible. We tell each other after a crime has been committed that at least we were lucky, no physical harm came to us.
That is a dangerous mind set to accept as it means the Jeffreys Bay community has conceded that housebreakings are a way of life in our once peaceful and crime free village.
40 housebreakings a month in Jeffreys Bay is the official figure released by the South African Police and that is 40 housebreakings a month too many!! Yet we are sliding into a complacent frame of mine that this state of affairs is all right as long we do not get attacked while being robbed.
We have seen in other parts of the country, most noticeable in Gauteng that home invasions are accompanied with a brutal force towards occupants that is sickening in its depravity. Old men and women having their feet forced in boiling water and others being savagely beaten are how homes get robbed in other parts of South Africa.
The capacity exists in Jeffreys Bay to make sure we do not slide into a similar state of mayhem. With limited manpower, the Jeffreys Bay Police manage to keep a handle on crime in a town that is probably edging up towards 30 000 – 40 000 permanent inhabitants many of them unemployed.
The security companies also play their part in keeping crime down with regular patrols and rapid response in our town and without them many more homes would be robbed in Jeffreys Bay.
Then there are the Neighbourhood Watches and the Community Police Forum (CPF) who are actively involved in their suburbs and spend many nights patrolling and keeping a look out for suspicious activity in their streets.
Yet much more can be done to fight crime in the town. Most of the Neighbourhood Watches need more volunteers who can patrol in their vehicles and be the “eyes and ears” of the Police.
There is enough community spirit in Jeffreys Bay to win the war against crime in our town. Let’s first accept that it’s not okay to be robbed and have the attitude of get the case number, let the insurance company replace my possessions and be grateful that nobody got hurt.
Let’s rather join hands and rid Jeffreys Bay of the scourge of crime that plagues our land. Let’s accept that we can do something to make sure our households and our neighbours can sleep safely and in peace at light. Join a Neighbourhood Watch and become part of the solution.