As I was reading the article in Wheels24 on crimes related to the motor industry and the stern warning to be "vigilant & risk aware" I am again conscience of the fact that knowing in which police stations these crimes are being committed is imperative. This does not seem to be priority for the SAPS. The data is released in an Excel format that is so difficult to use that it has to be web scrapped. AfricaScope does this each year to enable us to map the crime statistics at a police station level.
It should be a priority for people in the private sector, especially the motor and security industries. Without this knowledge citizens across Gauteng will be running scared and looking over their shoulders, but maybe that is a good thing. If one compares the number of carjackings in Gauteng compared to the other eight provinces, Gauteng looks like Kilimanjaro and KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape like the foothills. We need to be extremely vigilant in Gauteng.
It is clear that there is an association between crimes related to the motor industry and other forms of violent crime such as murder and residential robbery. Whatever the situation, I do not accept the notion that nothing can be done about it. Yes, it requires better communication between members of local community Police Forums but it requires (as my colleague Dr Chris de Kock) always tells me intelligence lead policing.
In other words having a clearer understanding of what causes particular police stations to be more susceptible to crimes related to the motor industry. For example, density of motor dealers servicing vehicles, accessibility of the area with easy hiding stops, availability of cars in demand, or other attractors. Knowing this information should enable the police to generate an overall strategy per police station. The simplest strategy is to create a "sharks net" - making it more risky for thieves to commit crimes. Outside of security communities this requires active policing and the implementation of appropriate strategies.
Lets hope that police will take this to heart and collect the information needed to make intelligence based policing a priority so that we can tackle this scourge of our society in Gauteng and all other provinceds.