The City of Cape Town is facing a worrying rise in smash-and-grab incidents.
Smash-and-grabs are a new trend in these Cape Town hotspots
According to a recent statement by Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, during November and December 2023, the Metro Police Strategic Surveillance Unit recorded 36 incidents along Jakes Gerwel Drive, a significant increase from 22 incidents during the same period the previous year.
In just three days, from 25 to 27 January, another seven potential incidents were detected by CCTV operators, where suspects were seen scouting for opportunities.
Intersections along Jakes Gerwel Drive, including Bluegum, Bofors, Jakkalsvlei, and the N2, as well as Halt Rd and Voortrekker, and Stellenbosch Arterial and Adam Tas Rd, are hotspots for such criminal activities.
Alderman Smith expressed concern about the unpredictability of these crimes, as incidents occurred at various times, ranging from early morning to late at night.
He emphasised the need for continuous vigilance and proactive measures from motorists:
“Officers will continue to patrol the hotspots, but I want to remind motorists that our uniformed staff cannot be everywhere at once. Although there are definite problem intersections, be vigilant at all times.”
The statistics also showed a rise in ‘casing out’ incidents, with CCTV footage detecting 100 instances compared to 41 in the previous year.
This suggests that while smash-and-grab criminals are persistent, the opportunities for such crimes may be decreasing as more road users adhere to safety guidelines about hiding valuables.
“We want to halt a crime that deprives people of their hard-earned and prized possessions; and spare them the trauma of being victims. There is only so much we can do, and motorists should do what they can to ensure their own safety,” Smith added.§