Doringbaai just fell off the murder map
What I miss most about the latest crime statistics is that there appears to be no reference to Doringbaai.
It’s probably because they are now issued quarterly instead of annually, and in the rush this little West Coast fishing village fell, as it were, off the crime statistic map.
But ever since 2007 it’s been a jewel in the police commissioner’s crown, or rather a feather in his peaked cap, as one of the few places in the country, and possibly during some years the only one, where there wasn’t a murder.
Once I nearly reached Doringbaai. It was only another eight kilometres down the coast from Strandfontein, where we had a picnic lunch. But my wife and I took Doringbaai as read, and returned to Lutzville. I’ve regretted it ever since. Though its chief claims to fame are only a lighthouse and a disused fish factory, I might have been able to meet a few of the non-murderous locals and congratulate the police station commander on his or her achievement.
I’ve learned since that the fisher folk there occasionally donner one another after too many dops on a Friday night, but never to the point where anyone has ended up in the morgue.
No one I know would actually go and live in Doringbaai just to escape any possibility of being murdered. According to the latest statistics, our chances of being done in are pretty slim anyway – only 34 of us in every 100 000. The other 99 966 of us all live to see another year.
But we can take precautions to avoid being the victims of one of the other Big Three of crimes, hijacking. Don’t, for instance, drive a Volkswagen Polo, the first choice of 35% of sedan hijackers, and especially don’t drive it between 4 pm and 8 pm on a Friday, which the hijackers regard as their happy hours. Be particularly on your guard against neatly-dressed potential hijackers.
That’s how most of them look, according to Ryno Schutte, director of the Pro-Active website which lists stolen and hijacked vehicles. The only problem is how to distinguish a neatly-dressed potential hijacker from a neatly-dressed law-abiding citizen.
If I were a VW Polo owner, which fortunately I’m not, I would avoid all neatly-dressed pedestrians like the plague.
That still didn’t prevent my wife “nearly being hijacked” (her words) the other day. She has a very small car, that looks like a cupboard on wheels. I won’t mention the make, in case hijackers decide to make it their new vehicle of preference. Being chronically kind-hearted she gave a lift to a “woman” who, once she was in the car, whipped off a wig and turned out to be a man.
He then asked to be let out on the edge of Wynberg park, and grabbed my wife’s handbag as he did so. Amid the tug of war, the customary million items it contained fell in a heap on to the floor. He just wanted money, he said, and all she had was R20. It was the cheapest “near hijack” I’ve ever heard of, but it was still a shock, and she now studies the hair of women very closely before she gives any of them a lift.
Meanwhile I must warn my old friend Neville about the dangers of visiting Maitland cemetery to commune with his late father. The police recently refused to open a case for two cemetery mugging victims, and told them they should rather look for their stolen property “at Cash Crusaders”. Neville’s dad would be the first to advise him not to contribute to that establishment’s business.