Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch does a brilliant job at keeping residents informed and aware of issues that affect the safety of its community. Their close relationship with the South African Police Service brings the following current Hout Bay crime trends to the public’s attention in hopes of fuelling crime prevention.
In the past, the most common strategy for criminals to attempt a break-in has been to enter the property while residents are not around. Lately, however, the exact opposite approach seems to be on the rise. Intruders have reportedly been striking when residents are around.
Criminals have been targeting homes during social occasions when they know homes are less likely to have security alarms and beams activated. After further investigation on a number of recent burglaries, SAPS has identified that information about when these events happen, have come from the staff working for a household.
The majority of Hout Bay criminals are professionals who have done their homework before attempting to enter your property. Statistics from SAPS investigations show that most break-ins are planned up to 7 days before.
Bad weather = bad news
Extra caution should be taken on cold, rainy and bad weather nights as housebreakings and theft out of vehicles is higher in these conditions.
As mentioned above, after investigating Hout Bay break-ins, SAPS have reported that criminals have received their information from domestic workers, gardeners and other staff who work for a household. In a number of cases these conspirators were highly trusted members of the family and had reportedly worked for residents for up to ten years.
According to detectives, many families don’t have a copy of their staff’s ID documents, and in some cases don’t even know what the real names and addresses of their staff are. It’s advised that when hiring someone to work for you, you insist on contacting references and gathering all the relevant personal information about them before employment.
Lack of security
SAPS reports reveal that houses that have been struck by crime have not had a layered security approach, and in instances where alarms were present, they were de-activated at the time the intruder entered the premises, making the residence an easy target.
Leaving curtains open at night has led to many break-ins where TV’s, laptops, iPods, phones and iPads have been stolen, because they were laying in clear view of passers-by.
SAPS offers employee background checks
SAPS has kindly offered to do criminal background checks at the SAPS station for Hout Bay residents hoping to employ new staff. If you would like help with this, contact Captain Bok at the Community Service Centre to make an appointment.
This type of information shouldn’t instil fear, but rather awareness of what the current crime trends are. Knowledge is power, and with information like this, communities are largely able to prevent crime by taking the right precautions.