Re­si­dents frus­tra­ted by per­sis­tent cri­me in Nieu-bet­hes­da

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

NIEU-BET­HES­DA — Nieu-bet­hes­da has al­ways been kno­wn as a vil­la­ge w­he­re cri­me is of litt­le con­se­quen­ce.

Re­si­dents and tou­ris­ts a­li­ke ha­ve re­lis­hed in the fact that this com­mu­ni­ty is one that can be trus­ted and in­va­si­on of per­so­nal spa­ce and pro­per­ty has been i­so­la­ted.

Du­ring the past y­e­ar, ho­we­ver, re­si­dents ha­ve be­co­me in­cre­a­singly frus­tra­ted with an up­sur­ge of cri­me that has left re­si­dents of Pie­naar­sig and Nieu-bet­hes­da an­gry, frus­tra­ted and dis­he­ar­te­ned.

Fol­lo­wing a re­quest from victims of cri­me (of which the­re ha­ve been ma­ny), a snap sur­vey was con­ducted w­he­re pe­op­le we­re as­ked to fill in a form in­di­ca­ting how they had been af­fected by cri­me in the past y­e­ar. This sur­vey is by no me­ans com­ple­te as not e­ver­yo­ne was re­a­ched for com­ment, but the re­sults be­low are shocking and speak for them­sel­ves:

March

Loc­ked bi­cy­cle w­heels we­re sto­len be­hind loc­ked ga­te at pri­va­te ho­me

Farm stall was bro­ken in­to and pro­ducts we­re sto­len (this hap­pe­ned three ti­mes du­ring the y­e­ar)

A­pril

ip­ho­ne and wris­t­wa­tch we­re sto­len from guest­hou­se – trac­ker lo­ca­ted ip­ho­ne

In­tru­der cha­sed a­way af­ter at­temp­ting to bre­ak in­to pri­va­te ho­me

May

Hou­se­bre­a­king - sub­stan­ti­al a­mount of mo­ney sto­len

Ju­ne

Lap­top and food sto­len from guest­hou­se Boxes sto­len from stoep at pri­va­te ho­me Drun­kard found sleep­ing on pro­per­ty of pri­va­te ho­me

Ju­ly

Cell pho­ne sto­len from car par­ked in s­treet, food sto­len from in­si­de hou­se

Bre­ak-in and t­heft at re­stau­rant

Ni­ne in­ci­dents of hou­se­bre­a­king and t­heft at three dif­fe­rent guest­hou­ses (be­t­ween Ja­nu­a­ry and Ju­ly) Bre­ak-in at C­hurch Hall

Sep­tem­ber

Hou­se­bre­a­king - R2 000 cash, ta­blet, tool­kit, ma­ke-up sto­len. Car door lock bro­ken.

R2 000 sto­len from wal­let af­ter bre­ak-in at pri­va­te ho­me

Bre­ak-in and t­heft @ Re­stau­rant

T­heft from tent @ Back­pac­kers – vi­deo foota­ge i­den­ti­fied cri­mi­nal

25kg dog food sto­len off stoep of a pri­va­te ho­me

At­temp­ted hou­se bre­a­king – shut­ter bro­ken

Oc­to­ber

Hou­se bre­a­king ta­blet, lap­top sto­len

R6 000 sto­len from wal­let in guest­hou­se as gue­sts slept – win­dow pri­sed o­pen

Cell pho­ne sto­len from hou­se A­bu­si­ve drun­kard ag­gres­si­ve to­wards fa­mi­ly mem­bers

Bre­ak in and t­heft at guest­hou­se Bre­ak-in at pri­va­te ho­me - de­co­der, DVD play­er, wal­let sto­len

No­vem­ber

Bur­ned plas­tic un­der guest­hou­se win­dow at guest­hou­se

Gu­est thre­a­tened twi­ce through door at guest­hou­se

Gue­sts thre­a­tened with ‘s­las­hed ty­res’ at re­stau­rant

Bur­ning bin at guest­hou­se

Put­ty re­mo­ved from win­dow fra­me at Back­pac­kers

Food sto­len from pri­va­te ho­me af­ter bre­a­king in. T­hief well kno­wn.

At­temp­ted bre­ak in at lo­cal pub Bre­ak-in at re­stau­rant Hou­se­bre­a­king and t­heft of mo­ney and cel­lp­ho­ne at guest­hou­se

T­hief bro­ke win­dow and sto­le kett­le, bi­cy­cle tu­bes and croc­ke­ry at guest­hou­se

T­heft at Back­pac­kers

T­heft at guest­hou­se

Per­son caug­ht hi­ding in gar­den at guest­hou­se At­temp­ted bre­ak in at guest­hou­se At­temp­ted bre­ak in at a pri­va­te ho­me - t­hief ran off w­hen shou­ted at - re­cog­ni­sed

Two el­der­ly pe­op­le rob­bed of R1 300 at nig­ht w­hi­le in the room and a­wa­ke at guest­hou­se

Mo­ney and wal­let sto­len from guest­hou­se cot­ta­ge w­hi­le gu­est was next door

De­cem­ber

Bur­glar en­te­red guest­hou­se though sash win­dow, sto­le mo­ney

Young­sters fig­hting on s­treet

Two yout­hs seen loi­te­ring out­si­de guest­hou­se - ran a­way w­hen po­li­ce ar­ri­ved

A mar­ked in­cre­a­se in cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ty

As is e­vi­dent, the past month has seen a mar­ked in­cre­a­se in cri­mi­nal acti­vi­ty.

Ac­cor­ding to tho­se af­fected by cri­me re­cent­ly, it ap­pears that one of the sus­pects (who has been seen on oc­ca­si­on) is kno­wn to re­si­dents. Re­si­dents al­so sta­te that fo­ren­sic e­vi­den­ce is so­meti­mes ta­ken, so­meti­mes not, and po­li­ce re­spon­se is of­ten slow.

Due to the fact that the sa­tel­li­te po­li­ce sta­ti­on in the vil­la­ge is on­ly o­pen from 10:00 - 22:00, the­re are ti­mes w­hen the po­li­ce do not re­spond im­me­di­a­te­ly if off du­ty.

Ac­cor­ding to tho­se af­fected by cri­me, the­re ap­pears to be a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on be­t­ween the po­li­ce, de­tecti­ves, fo­ren­si­cs and the courts which re­sults in a bre­ak­do­wn of ef­fecti­ve­ness w­hen it co­mes to re­mo­ving the­se cri­mi­nals from the vil­la­ge.

A group of con­cer­ned ci­ti­zens at­ten­ded a meet­ing with Co­lo­nel van der R­hee­de w­he­re que­s­ti­ons we­re as­ked re­gar­ding po­li­cing in the vil­la­ge.

A lack of con­fi­den­ce, trust and le­a­ders­hip in the po­li­ce was ex­pres­sed as a ma­jor pro­blem. Co­lo­nel van der R­hee­de lis­te­ned and re­spon­ded po­si­ti­ve­ly and em­pat­he­ti­cal­ly to vil­la­gers’ con­cerns and ho­pe­ful­ly chan­ges re­gar­ding po­li­cing will be ef­fected soon.

Vil­la­gers and vi­si­tors to the vil­la­ge are now en­coura­ged to be mo­re vi­gi­lant in Nieu-bet­hes­da. En­su­re all doors and win­dows are loc­ked, do not le­a­ve va­lu­a­bles u­nat­ten­ded; w­hen re­lax­ing in one part of the hou­se, en­su­re that e­ver­y­thing is se­cu­re el­se­w­he­re in the hou­se; dogs are good e­ar­ly war­ning sy­s­tems and en­su­re cur­tains are clo­sed at nig­ht to de­cre­a­se vi­si­bi­li­ty in the hou­se.

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