The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Western Cape

Significant Decrease in School Burglaries and Vandalism During December Holidays, Yet Challenges Persist

Michael Hawthorne

Western Cape Ministry of Education Reports Promising Reduction in Incidents, Urges Public Vigilance

WESTERN CAPE – In a recent media statement, the Western Cape Ministry of Education highlighted a notable decrease in the number of schools affected by burglary and vandalism during the December holidays. Despite the provision of holiday security to 486 schools, the ministry recorded 26 incidents of criminal activities at 24 schools over the festive period.

Comparing the current statistics to the same holiday period last year, where 48 incidents were reported at 42 schools, the decrease is significant. However, the ministry expressed disappointment that schools continue to face the aftermath of criminal damage and theft.

Items stolen or damaged ranged from gas cylinders and food to computers and cameras. The damaged property included electrical boxes, windows, ceilings, doors, and security equipment. The ministry emphasized the financial strain imposed when funds meant for educational purposes are diverted to replace stolen items or repair infrastructure damaged for no justifiable reason.

The spokesperson to Minister David Maynier, Kerry Mauchline, expressed concern over the recurring incidents, particularly in the context of a significantly stressed financial environment. Mauchline stated, “Damaging and stealing from schools sabotages our children’s futures,” appealing to the public to report any suspicious activity related to stolen goods from schools.

The ministry urged the public to come forward if they notice anyone attempting to sell items stolen from schools. Mauchline emphasized that someone, somewhere, knows these perpetrators, and urged them to do the right thing so that schools cease to be targets of crime.

To combat these incidents, the ministry encouraged citizens to report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of schools to the South African Police Services (SAPS) or the Safe Schools hotline (0800 45 46 47) immediately. They emphasized that timely reporting can make a significant difference in apprehending the perpetrators and recovering stolen property.

In conclusion, the Western Cape Ministry of Education acknowledges the progress made in reducing school burglaries and vandalism during the December holidays. However, they underscore the importance of continued vigilance and community involvement to protect schools and ensure the safety and future of learners in the Western Cape.

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