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On 18 November 2023, a safety workshop was held between the farming communities surrounding Bloemfontein, private security companies, neighborhood guards serving holding areas, the police as well as organized agricultural structures including TLU, Saai, AfriForum and Free State Agriculture.
The aim of the workshop was to establish a better way of working between all the role players, as well as to establish an E2 Telegram group for the Bloemfontein area where response and activation of the police can take place in collaboration with private security, neighborhood watches and farming communities. The application forms for farming communities to be part of E2 are currently underway, as is an investigation into a possible centralized control room for the Bloemfontein area.
Bloemfontein/ Mangaung crimes
An analysis of all crimes for the Bloemfontein/Mangaung area from 1 January to 30 September 2023 was carried out in order to determine what crimes could possibly occur on holdings and farms. Such incidents must be passed on to a centralized nodal point. In short, in the 9-month period at 18 police stations, there were the following Serious Violent Crimes (EGM) namely 232 murders, 258 attempted murder incidents, and 1290 armed robberies including house robberies, business robberies, vehicle hijackings and truck hijackings. There were also 93 kidnappings, with Bloemspruit (15) and Parkweg (29) the highest reported.
Six (6) police stations that have the largest number of crime codes that show an increase in a 9-month period, ranging from 9 to 12 crime codes, can be considered high crime areas where policing actions for combating and prevention should be better addressed. The police stations are Bloemspruit and Navalsig with 12 each, followed by Boithuso and Kagisanong with 10 each, while Botshabelo and Mangaung have 9 crime codes each which have increased.
Better cooperation between private security companies, the communities and especially farming communities and neighborhood watches, even community patrollers, is essential to address crimes.
In terms of Property Related Crimes (EVM) that can negatively affect farming and plot/holding communities, an outline was given of burglaries at residences and stores (businesses), theft in general where a variety of products and implements as well as essential infrastructure are stolen, as well as theft from/from motor vehicles which may include tires and batteries and a variety of other items. These types of crimes are problematic in farming communities and must be reported and effectively addressed by the police.
As far as livestock theft is concerned, there are 5 police stations where livestock theft shows an increase, namely Boithuso, Botshabelo, Navalsig, Selosesha and Thaba-Nchu. Eight (8) police stations reported 10 or more cases in the 9-month period, namely Soutpan, Navalsig, Boithuso, Dewetsdorp, Bloemspruit, Botshabelo, Thaba-Nchu had 47 and Selosesha had 94 cases.