A plea from St Francis Sector Police Forum

St Francis Today received the following plea from the St Francis Sector Police Forum regarding the horrendous incident last Thursday evening. 

“The armed robbery at 22 Sardinia Rd on Thursday evening which resulted in the tragic death of well-known St Francis businessman Duncan Lethbridge and the injury of his wife are at a very sensitive stage of investigation. SAPS Detectives and forensics are working around the clock on this case. No information can be divulged at this stage without jeopardising the investigation.

We thank you for your understanding and know that you will all join us in sending heartfelt condolences and commiserations to the Lethbridge family. 

Nigel Aitken, Chairman St Francis Sector Police Forum.”

St Francis Today supports requests that readers not try and second guess the police process or make accusations against the police, the security firms.

The law must take its course and no amount of speculation will help the investigation other than to sew unnecessary false news.

CRA supporter questions viability of CCTV Installation

Yesterday two letters, one from an SRA supporter and one from a (Concerned Residents Association) CRA supporter reached our mailbox. Wanting to respect the plea by the St Francis Sector Police Form published above, we considered not publishing the CRA supporters document for it deals in part  exactly with what the Police Sector Forum has asked people to refrain from commenting on. However lest we be accused of withholding CRA comment we decided to publish the document from a CRA supporter who wishes to remain anonymousbut which was forwarded to us by CRA Chair, Angela Cadman. 

We will publish the SRA Supporters letter tomorrow.

The letter follows.

” So based on the recent horrendous crime incidents in SFB and the lack of comment from SFPO committee I started reading up about the CCTV cameras.

And these are my questions:

  1. footage for a few days before and at the time of the Lethbridge event – has it been stored and saved and assessed?
    I understand that there would not have been cameras in the area around his house but it is rumoured that the robbers used a vehicle so they would surely be picked up on the cameras placed along St Francis Drive, Taragona, R330 etc. I know it’s probably looking for a needle in a haystack and I believe the timing reported in the media is not correct as I saw 2 ambulances leaving SFB at around 17:20 which contradicts the timing of the maid alerting the neighbours at 19:00. The main question is (and possibly not for public sharing) “is/has the footage been analysed”
  1. The woman held up at gunpoint on the walkway – this would be a smaller area to concentrate on so surely the footage would reveal something here. The fact that the pathway has cameras has been widely publicised.
  2. Aside from these two recent incidents – minutes from meetings held by the SFPO committee repeatedly refer to a notable reduction in crime and numerous arrests having been made. Can they give us tangible facts and figures to validate this?
  3. The financials refer to an amount of R932408 spent on CCTV cameras alone for Financial period July 2018 to June 2019. The first payment made was on 1 Feb 2019 so in essence that’s R900k spent in 5 months. Monthly rental is R110k and the capital amount over 5 years is R6,6m. Surely the public have a right to information that is gathered from an initiative that has this cost implication.

For the record I’m not based in SFB so I don’t contribute to the levy but my interest lies in the overall upliftment and   improvement of the area as a whole and bringing this sort of information to the knowledge of those who do contribute. Surely if the cameras do not help in catching the perpetrators of the Lethbridge crime – possibly the worst our town has seen, then the whole CCTV Project should be reassessed and the money spent on initiatives that will yield better results.

I’ve attached screen grabs of some of the relevant info.”