The official South African crime statistics have revealed what residents of Jeffreys Bay and South Africa have known all along. Criminals are targeting people in their homes and in their places of work, often with violent consequences.
Jeffreys Bay is sitting with just over 40 housebreakings a month which is simply unacceptable. Not too long ago we could sleep in our homes without even locking the doors and security was simply not a day to day issue in our lives.
Many of the elderly residents of the town still feel that they have the right to sleep with their windows open and to leave their doors open when watching television at night. Unfortunately that way of thinking can make one part of the crime statistics in modern day Jeffreys Bay.
What can be done about the situation?
Firstly it must be accepted that the Police cannot win the war against crime by themselves. On a national level we have too few Policemen on the beat and often it is a case of containing crime, rather than a focus on crime prevention.
The model of trying to secure South Africa through crime statistics as opposed to a ratio of policemen/population is flawed and will increase the danger of “fudging” of the statistics.
Secondly the community has a role to play in ensuring their own safety. It is too late to bemoan that we pay taxes and therefore security is the Government’s problem. Service delivery is lacking in many Government departments and the Police is no expectation.
You can make a difference. Join a Neighbourhood Watch and become part of the solution.
The elderly are not expected to leave their cars when on patrol, but to rather be the eyes and ears of the Neighbourhood Watches and the Police.
The younger members of the community may have jobs and need their sleep but offering up one or two nights a month is not asking too much.
There will be a continued influx of people into Jeffreys Bay from the rural areas looking for work, which will be accelerated if the Nuclear Power Station at Thyspunt goes ahead.
It is doubtful whether we will get more policemen to counter the resultant rise in crime.
The Police and the defenceless in our community need our help. The time has come.
There will be a Neighbourhood Watch Marketing Day on 25 October at Potters Place.
Captain Botes from the JBay Police together with all the Sector Managers will be present.
Come and listen to how the system works and what role you can play.