Crime is a major worry! Don’t listen to Knysna SAPS or their shadow cohorts, Neighbourhood Watch, who say that it’s down. Declining to prosecute, dumbing the statistics and lying are crimes themselves.
We’re not a brooding mother of a city like Johannesburg or New York. We’re a seaside town with a population below 100 000. But half of the town are unemployed and the majority of the rest earn little. We may be famous for the biggest cocaine bust in South African history (R2 billion) but the bigger aggravation to safety is cheap drugs; heroin and tik (meth). Add those ingredients and an increase in crime is the natural result.
We don’t live in a democracy so getting statistics is a battle but, using my own experience (according to case number and date), i estimate that there are 10 000 cases logged annually. Need i state that that is a lot for a small town? And that doesn’t include the many that are never logged because of the realization that our justice system is a shambles hiding justice. And that was before they closed the courts in the neighbouring town of Plett (yes, the holiday town that experienced repeated riots and highway closures by the poor) and furthered burdened Knysna.
Knysna is no longer a town with open doors. Security is a booming business.
Near my last home, 500 metres from Knysna Tourism, 3 neighbours in a row (had to) put up electric fences. In a next door suburb, last month, 10 houses were robbed. Who do we turn to for protection becomes a bigger issue when there have been far too many rumours, several of which i’ve verified (and experienced), in which corrupt cops, both municipal and SAPS, have targeted citizens for crime. In one case, a business woman was alleged raped by cops. More recently, another two, in separate instances, said they were arrested by cops for drunken driving when they were not in a car. The one incident allegedly resulted in a R500 bribe whilst the other allegedly, and depressingly, resulted in sexual abuse and robbery. Bad cop stories have become far too common!
All this (and more) are serious cracks in the smiling veneer of Knysna.
If you’re a potential buyer, i don’t mean to chase you away. Foremost, i hope that some of our so-called leaders in our DA-led town skip the tourism propaganda machine and tackle these serious issues. As with the credit boom, short-term gain only aids long-term problems.
If you are in the market for property, let me now tell you the good points…
Read Part 3 here.