New stats show surge in violent deaths in GP

100JOHANNESBURG – Newly released statistics from Gauteng’s 10 state mortuaries show there’s been a sharp increase in violent deaths. Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has revealed in a written response to the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s that violent deaths from gunshots, stab wounds and assault account for 32 percent of deaths in the province over the past two years

Road fatalities account for 26 percent of the deaths.

The DA’s Jack Bloom says these figures deeply concerning.

“Dead bodies don’t lie and it shows people in Gauteng are increasingly dying because of increasing violence in our society and that’s primarily because of crime.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

EWN

Gauteng CPF taking measures to deal with cop killings

100JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Community Policing Forum says the recent spate of police killings will be on every agenda of community policing forums as it launches its latest campaign across the province.

The forum says the initiative will be rolled to all 143 police stations and 22 districts pledging support to finding criminals who’ve murdered South Africa’s men and women in blue.

A total of 58 officers have been killed since January this year.

The forum says it is concerned that the culprits are second time offenders and has asked to meet with the justice minister for discussions.

The Gauteng Community Police Board’s Thokozane Masilela said, “We felt that we also have the responsibility of raising a call to say the killings of the police is attacking the state and is killing us.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

Source

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‘I won’t be a crime stat’

A Reservoir Hills man, who did not want to be identified, points to the bullet holes in the windscreen of his vehicle. He was shot at by a robber who, together with his two accomplices, ransacked his home and was making a getaway in his vehicle. Picture: Marilyn Bernard

A Reservoir Hills man, who did not want to be identified, points to the bullet holes in the windscreen of his vehicle. He was shot at by a robber who, together with his two accomplices, ransacked his home and was making a getaway in his vehicle. Picture: Marilyn Bernard


August 25 2015 at 06:40am 
By Arthi Sanpath

Durban – Durbanites have had enough of crime and are fighting back, not afraid to take action to defend themselves and their families. 

On Friday morning, robbers fired shots at a Reservoir Hills businessman after they had loaded their loot into his vehicle, then drove away.

He returned fire as they tried to make their getaway, wounding one.

This was the second such incident in Durban.

Last Friday, former policewoman and self-defence expert Renette Edwards, 52, of Morningside, used a samurai sword to chop at a burglar who had broken into her flat and stolen her cellphone and laptop.

Fortunately for him, she had used the blunt side.

In other incidents around the country this month, would-be burglars had their plans thwarted when they made the home of crime intelligence officers their target.

Three men went to the Joburg home of Captain Thandi Mejelo, who shot a burglar in his genitals and legs when he opened her front door. The other two suspects tried to make a getaway, but Mejelo fired at the car as well.

Also in Joburg, a woman shot dead two robbers who broke into her home last month.

A man entered her bedroom while she was asleep next to her husband and threatened to shoot them.

The woman pulled out a gun from under her pillow and shot the man. She shot the second intruder as well.

In Cape Town last month, Angelina Youngman, 70, was attacked at her home in Sir Lowry’s Pass, but she fought off her attacker with a telephone directory.

She used the heavy book to hit the gun away from her face, before punching and hitting her attacker. Youngman then fled and alerted her neighbours.

On Friday, the Reservoir Hills businessman, who did not want his identity revealed, said that when three armed robbers invaded his home in Tenna Terrace, threatening the safety of his wife and sleeping baby, and shot at him, he did not want to be another South African crime statistic.

“Enough is enough. Criminals know they can take advantage of people because people are scared to defend themselves,” he said.

The father of two had survived two previous robberies at his business, and after the second one said he would not be afraid to take action should he be attacked again.

Early on Friday morning, while he was outside watching his child leave for school, he was about to go inside when he saw three men come up the road from a nearby driveway.

He watched his child leave and when he entered his yard, the armed men followed him inside.

“They held me up inside my own house. I was afraid, as my wife was inside with my 1-year-old baby and I didn’t know what they would do to them.”

Two of the robbers wore balaclavas and demanded gold and jewellery.

“I told them I had none. I told them to take whatever else they wanted and leave. I was afraid they would harm my wife and child.

“The one guy pulled the TV off the wall, and one guy took my car keys from my hands and went towards my Golf, which was parked in the yard.

“He tried to open the door, but the alarm went off, and I think this alerted the neighbours,” he said.

One of the suspects then started to call out for them to leave and the robbers went to his Golf.

The man said he believed the robbers wanted to flee because his neighbours were making their way to his house, because they realised something was amiss.

“As they went to the car, I went outside. My wife was coming outside as well, but I just pushed her back inside. Then the one robber shot at me with his firearm. I had my firearm on me and I shot back. I thought he was going to kill us.”

The robber who took a bullet fell to the ground, and his accomplices sped off at such speed that the TV fell out of the vehicle. His car was later found in Clermont.

The man said that, despite this being a traumatic incident, it was fortunate that he was at home.

“Usually my wife leaves home later and alone. At the very least, I was here to defend my family.

“The local CPF and the police responded so quickly that I have to say thank you to them, and to everyone who came to our assistance.”

The man said there had been several recent crime incidents in Reservoir Hills. He urged people to be careful, but at the same time not to be afraid to defend themselves.

Satish Dhupelia, chairman of the local community police forum, urged residents to be careful.

“I also don’t want to incite further violence. Sometimes taking the law into your own hands is not the best option. Only in certain instances… should you shoot a suspected criminal,” he said.

SAPS spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal, Major Thulani Zwane, confirmed the incident and said the complainant had wounded one suspect. He had been taken to hospital under police guard and would appear in court on charges of house robbery soon.

Zwane said people should not take the law into their own hands.

Independent on Saturday

Fraudsters target SA bank accounts

1317610157Cape Town – Crafty hackers are gaining access to bank accounts and draining them in a tweaked version of the well-known Microsoft scam, security experts have warned.

The fraudsters use clever tactics to coax their unsuspecting victims into giving them remote access to their computers

in a fine-tuned version of the scam dubbed the “cold-calling technical support scam” which has been perpetrated around the world.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has alerted SA banks that these scamsters are now targeting South Africans.

These criminals create an environment that allows them carte blanche to drain victims’ bank accounts in seconds, and glean information which may be sold to other fraudsters.

Sabric’s chief executive Kalyani Pillay warned people to keep their software up to date and not to give anyone remote access to their computers. She explained how the scam works: “You receive a call from a number you don’t recognise and the caller claims to be from a reputable computer or software company. Through skilful manipulation, the caller manages to persuade you that it is absolutely crucial that you take the trouble to sort out a problem with your computer and offers to guide you through the process.”

Since it is purely an IT issue and no mention of banking is made, victims often cast aside their reservations

. Because most victims were not tech savvy and the claim that there was a dire problem that needed sorting out seems completely plausible. But then it becomes tricky.

With the old Microsoft scam, fraudsters would persuade their targets to download malware (software that can damage a computer system), but the new scam involves getting remote access to victims’ computers to fix the purported “problem”.

Once “fixed”, the callers ask for a small fee to be paid, but to ensure the victims are not put off they ask that it be done via EFT or by credit card. Since victims know never to supply credit card details to strangers, they opt for an EFT payment and the caller provides details, telling the victim to add them as a beneficiary.

The scamsters take advantage of the remote access they have been given, which enables them to load malware onto their victims’ computer and which allows them to harvest the victim’s banking details.

Pillay said the calls appeared to be coming from outside South Africa.

During the conversation, the scamsters get people to volunteer information, without them realising that they are being scammed.

 

One victim anonymously shared her experience online, saying she received a call from a number with Cape Town’s 021 dialling code.

Her bank statement reflected that the funds were taken by a company that has been reported to scambook.com, a website dealing with fraud.

“I received a call supposedly from Microsoft South Africa informing me that my computer was about to crash because someone had been downloading all sort of viruses on to my hard drive. To rectify this I had to let them work on my computer and they would download a Microsoft program which would prevent this from happening again. This program would run for five years and cost $249 (R3 229). Like a fool I gave them my credit card details and the money was transferred out of my account.”

The woman was not refunded because the bank was unable to trace the location of the company.

Weekend Argus

10111 police helpline: How long you will wait in an emergency

Police-2Here is how long you’d have to wait for a police officer to arrive if you called the 10111 number during an emergency.Just over 19 minutes. That’s how long you’d have to wait for a police officer to arrive if you called the 10111 number during an emergency.

This time was the latest national average and measured from the moment a complaint was received until attendance, SA Police Service spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo told News24.

Where crimes had already occurred, it took around 24 minutes and 33 seconds for officers to pitch.

If the complaint involved “less serious” offences – such as drunkenness, loitering and trespassing – the average response time was 21 minutes and 45 seconds.

Naidoo said that when someone phoned the 10111 number, they were normally put through to one of 22 call centres.

If their area did not have a call centre, the call was directed to the nearest police station.

“The police reaction time is monitored on a continuous basis,” Naidoo said.

“All 10111 call centres are staffed, however, due to a high volume of calls received during certain periods of the day additional strain is placed on the call takers.”

He said most calls were enquiries or prank/hoax calls, which influenced the response to emergencies.

Last month, a man who was mugged on popular Cape Town tourist spot Lion’s Head claimed that a 10111 operator told him and fellow victims: “Well, we don’t know where it is and we don’t know what to do.”

DA MP and police spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard said it was horrific that millions of rands had been spent on a number that was “failing” people.

“If a tourist phones a toll-free number and the answer is that they cannot assist him, what possible use is it?” she told News24.

She said she had personally had three “dreadful” experiences with 10111. One operator answered the call with “Huh?”, another didn’t know where a location was, and a third operator said they couldn’t help her unless she knew the name of a road.

Naidoo said call centres and police stations had access to mapping and members were trained how to correctly trace places.

According to the police’s 2015/16 performance plan, it was busy developing customised reaction time targets for urban, rural and semi-urban areas.

Asked whether these targets were available, Naidoo said the stats formed part of the annual report and could only be released through that medium.

News24

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF & YOUR CHILD DURING A HIJACKING

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JOHANNESBURG – Facing a hijacking is a terrible ordeal in which you are likely to be overcome by fear, anxiety and horror as you face ruthless armed criminals who are threatening your life and the lives of your loved ones.

While you may want to hang onto your prized possession you’ve worked hard to buy, the experts all agree that you should let the gunmen take the vehicle if it’s going to save your life.

Several weeks ago we looked at how you can prevent being hijacked and what to do in the moments after an attack.

This week we speak to specialist trainers about what you should and shouldn’t do during a hijacking.

While the circumstances of each case may differ, below are several steps which could save your life and the lives of your children.

1.    If you’re travelling with one child, ensure they’re sitting directly behind you and NOT in the left rear seat. If you are hijacked it will be easier to help your child get of the car if they’re sitting on the right-hand side. This will save you time by not having to run around to the opposite side of the car.

2.    If you are travelling with two or more children, teach them how to loosen their seatbelts and open their doors independently if possible.

3.    If your children are old enough it’s advisable that you should disengage your child-lock system.

4.    If you have a central locking system, remember to open all doors before getting out of the car and handing the keys over to the hijacker. This will allow you to open your rear passenger doors and get your children out while the hijacker is getting into the driving seat.

5.    DON’T keep your key in your pocket (if you have a keyless start car), as the hijacker may think you are reaching for a firearm when you put your hand into your pocket to get your keys.

6.    Keep your key in the arm rest or somewhere close by. Your key is your bargaining tool which buys you time to get your child or children out while the hijacker gets into the car & starts it up.

7.    When you’re outside the vehicle try not to face the hijacker and turn your body sideways, with your shoulder facing him, where possible. This prevents your vital organs from being in the line of fire should the hijacker shoot at you.

8.    Turning your body sideways also allows you to focus on your children in the rear seats of the vehicle.

9.    Follow the hijackers instructions, remain as calm as possible and don’t interact with them unless you have to, such as making it clear what movements you’re about to make.

Source

World Festival to shut down Sandton streets for a month

SandtonThe movement of all private vehicles to and from the Sandton inner business district will be restricted as a result of the EcoMobility World Festival held at the Sandton Convention Centre in October, said the City of Johannesburg.

This means, all motorists will have to resort to walking, cycling, or using public transport to get to their destinations.

According to the City of Johannesburg, 70% of the traffic on Sandton streets during peak hours are private vehicles. The city aims to reduce traffic flow to accommodate the festival, as well as trying out a new system to reduce congestion in the area.

Sandton is one of the most congested areas in the country.

Johannesburg executive mayor Parks Tau meanwhile said if more people don’t switch to other methods of transport, the entire area will come to a standstill.

“If more people do not switch to public transport, walking or cycling, congestion in the CBD area of Sandton will go from bad to worse and traffic will eventually grind to a halt, creating a giant parking lot,” he said.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Source

South Africans turn to technology to fight crime

social media3Thanks to new social-networking apps, crime rates in Johannesburg – once the country’s crime capital – fall dramatically 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 

Residents of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, are using phone apps and social networking sites to tip police off to crimes in their neighborhoods.

South Africa has a high crime rate, with 47 murders reported a day, according to 2013/14 crime statistics released by the Police Ministry.

“We are currently using WhatsApp groups to share information with the police crime intelligence unit,” Abdurrahman Ricky, head of the Greater Mayfair Safety and Security (GMMS) group, which patrols Johannesburg’s Mayfair suburbs, told Anadolu Agency.

Ricky says his non-profit organization has been asking residents of Mayfair and surrounding districts to join their WhatsApp group and report crimes in the area.

“Many criminals have been apprehended since we started using WhatsApp and BBM messages. As a result, crime is falling tremendously in our neighborhoods,” Ricky asserted.

He said the GMSS group began using the app one year ago and was now networking with police and other security groups.

“Some members of our group are police officers and security operatives. The group has been very efficient in our community,” he said.

According to Ricky, crimes reported by community members include carjackings, burgalaries and loitering.

“Whenever we get a tipoff, we alert the police and rush to the scene,” he said.

Johannesburg resident Omar Ali believes that using the apps has helped give residents greater peace of mind.

“Our community is now connected to the various apps; it’s easier to communicate with them and report suspicious activity, thanks to technology,” he said.

Ali said his car was stolen two years ago – before the community had begun using the apps.

“If we were as vigilant as we are today, I don’t think my car would have been stolen,” he told Anadolu Agency.

CCTV

Meanwhile, the introduction of closed-circuit tevision (CCTV) cameras has helped reduce crime rates in Johannesburg’s city center, which used to be regarded as the most dangerous area in the country.

Violent muggings, cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies – among other serious crimes – used to be common occurrences in Johannesburg. But since the introduction of CCTV surveillance, such crimes have fallen dramatically.

“CCTV cameras have helped the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) reduce crime in the city’s Central Business District,” JMPD Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnar told Anadolu Agency.

He said there were currently over 240 cameras covering all the streets of the city center, while the authorities were planning to install 60 more.

“The camera footage is monitored 24/7 by security operators in the control room. If they spot a crime, they alert police officers on patrol who rush to the scene,” he said.

According to Minnar, since the introduction of the CCTV cameras, there has been a decline in serious crimes like the bombing of automated cash machines (ATMs) and bank robberies.

He also said police use recorded CCTV footage to identify and prosecute criminals.

– ‘Without fear’

“The CCTV cameras have made it possible for us to go about our businesses freely without fear,” Johannesburg shop owner Mohammed Asim told Anadolu Agency. “Because we know security officers can retrieve the recorded footage and apprehend anyone who robs us.”

Yusuf Abramjee, who runs “Crime Line,” an anonymous crime tip-off service, agrees that technology is helping fight crime.

“There’s no doubt that technology is playing a major role in fighting crime in South Africa. We were the first country in the world to use SMS messaging to report crimes through anonymous tip-offs,” he told Anadolu Agency.

As a result of such anonymous tip-offs, Abramjee said, thousands of arrests had been made, while millions of rand worth of stolen goods had been recovered.

“The community has been very cooperative in giving us tip-offs to apprehend criminals and preventing crimes that would have occurred otherwise,” he added.

White Merc gang on the prowl

1632804275Johannesburg – A gang using a white Mercedes-Benz have been targeting the residents of Houghton over the past two months.

The gang of five men have been involved in numerous armed robberies and hijackings in the upmarket suburb.

Yaseen Theba, from Vision Tactical, said they had been getting reports about incidents involving the white Mercedes since the beginning of December and, on Sunday, the security company spotted the car and gave chase.

But they lost sight of it as it disappeared on Louis Botha Avenue near Alexandra. The registration number of the Mercedes is unknown.

Theba said there had been 12 sightings of the car in Houghton since December. It has a sunroof, tinted windows and LED lights on the bumper.

The gang of five wear masks and gloves. Their modus operandi is to lift up electronic gates to gain access to properties.

About three weeks ago, a man driving a white Mercedes ML stopped at an Engen service station to draw money. Shortly afterwards, on the corner of Glenhove Road and Fifth Street, he was held up. Cash and his watch were taken and the men drove off in his car, Theba said.

The car was recovered a few blocks away, and witnesses saw the gang get into a white Mercedes that was waiting for them, and drive off.

“We suspect they noticed his watch at the petrol station,” Theba added.

Last Thursday morning, the gangsters entered the house of a businessman and held him and two assistants at gunpoint. They made off with valuables and a light-metallic grey Audi Q5.

Theba said the men are well dressed, and on a few occasions, they have been seen driving around the suburb with three men and a woman in the car.

They were stopped once or twice by various security companies in the neighbourhood. The officers were told that the men were brothers and were just dropping their sister off.

“We have noticed that they aren’t stealing cellphones or iPads or any electronics that can be traced.

“They are taking cash, jewellery and watches,” Theba pointed out.

Crime Line has appealed to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the robbers to SMS 32211 or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

If the car is spotted, call 10111.

Crime Line’s Yusuf Abramjee said indications were that the robbers were well organised.

angelique.serrao@inl.co.za

White Merc gang on the prowl

1632804275Johannesburg – A gang using a white Mercedes-Benz have been targeting the residents of Houghton over the past two months.

The gang of five men have been involved in numerous armed robberies and hijackings in the upmarket suburb.

Yaseen Theba, from Vision Tactical, said they had been getting reports about incidents involving the white Mercedes since the beginning of December and, on Sunday, the security company spotted the car and gave chase.

But they lost sight of it as it disappeared on Louis Botha Avenue near Alexandra. The registration number of the Mercedes is unknown.

Theba said there had been 12 sightings of the car in Houghton since December. It has a sunroof, tinted windows and LED lights on the bumper.

The gang of five wear masks and gloves. Their modus operandi is to lift up electronic gates to gain access to properties.

About three weeks ago, a man driving a white Mercedes ML stopped at an Engen service station to draw money. Shortly afterwards, on the corner of Glenhove Road and Fifth Street, he was held up. Cash and his watch were taken and the men drove off in his car, Theba said.

The car was recovered a few blocks away, and witnesses saw the gang get into a white Mercedes that was waiting for them, and drive off.

“We suspect they noticed his watch at the petrol station,” Theba added.

Last Thursday morning, the gangsters entered the house of a businessman and held him and two assistants at gunpoint. They made off with valuables and a light-metallic grey Audi Q5.

Theba said the men are well dressed, and on a few occasions, they have been seen driving around the suburb with three men and a woman in the car.

They were stopped once or twice by various security companies in the neighbourhood. The officers were told that the men were brothers and were just dropping their sister off.

“We have noticed that they aren’t stealing cellphones or iPads or any electronics that can be traced.

“They are taking cash, jewellery and watches,” Theba pointed out.

Crime Line has appealed to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the robbers to SMS 32211 or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

If the car is spotted, call 10111.

Crime Line’s Yusuf Abramjee said indications were that the robbers were well organised.

The Star