Do­ring­baai just fell off the mur­der map

Die Burger - - By - John S­cott

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.

■ john­vscott@mweb.co.za

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