Linden’s community policing forum (CPF) hosted its annual general meeting on 17 October 2018.
The event gave residents and security role players in the Linden policing precinct an opportunity to engage with one another.
Linden Police Operations Commander Captain Alex Vermaak gave a detailed breakdown of the police station’s crime statistics and reasons why they are that way.
Vermaak began by addressing the fact that contact crimes increased massively, which he labelled as, ‘totally unacceptable’.
Contact crimes are crimes aimed at an individual and often include the use of force and weapons in order to get the victim to release their property.
Examples of these are assault, robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder. A figure that saddened the captain was the six murders reported at his police station.
House robberies are also a hot criminal activity in the area.
Criminals are taking advantage of domestic workers and the elderly to gain access into people’s homes and rob them of their belongings.
Vermaak is reminding homeowners to ensure that those they leave behind at home do not open the gate for anyone they cannot identify or have been given instructions to open for.
Carjacking is also a massive problem in the area following an 81 per cent increase in the number of reported cases.
In the last year, 577 cars were reported stolen to the Linden police. This makes the Linden policing precinct the fourth highest station for this particular crime.
Vermaak said, “These criminals will take any car they can get; they hijack them all. Drivers need to make sure their cars are parked in secure places.”
Public places such as the Randburg Sports Complex are common locations where cars have been stolen.
He also mentioned that drivers of keyless-entry cars are not safe either as criminals will force the driver into the boot with their key and drop them off far from where the hijacking took place.
Regardless of the challenges faced by the police station, it will continue to pull out all the stops to reduce crime in the area.
He stated, “We have excellent role players in our crime-fighting area.”
He believes there is a strong foundation to solve all these issues. He said, “We just need more people to get on board. With the support of the community, we can make a difference.”