Court restored in Plettenberg Bay & No bail to repeat Offenders

Once signed by sufficient numbers of signatories, this Petition, which addresses certain very serious matters of concern that are adversely affecting the safety and security of residents in the Bitou area, will be forwarded to the Justice Department. The greater the number of signatories, the more force a petition has in pressurizing the relevant authorities to take steps to address the matters of concern and it is hoped that all residents in the area will not only sign the petition but also circulate it to all affected persons on their data bases for signature.

Good Day All Plettonians and the Greater Bitou Community

We request your assistance in addressing two major factors contributing to the current increasing wave of criminality evident in our beautiful Bay. The matters of concern are:-

1. The closure of the Magistrates Court in Plettenberg Bay with immediate effect on the 28th July 2011 on the pretext of the safety of the court staff travelling to Plett. The latter part of the letter in question from the Judicial Head in Knysna read:-

A decision was taken to refuse to send a magistrate, prosecutor and administrative staff to visit the Plettenberg Bay Periodical Court with immediate effect from Monday 1st August 2011. Although we are aware of the fact that this decision probably will cause inconvenience to SAPS and the Plettenberg Bay community, we are of the opinion that the security risk is just too great and outweighs the possible inconvenience

This was done summarily without any discussion or consultation with either SAPS or the CPF in Plett and with complete disregard for the administration of justice in the Plett area and the consequent safety and security of our residents. A direct result of this action has been a rapidly escalating level of criminality in the Bitou area and an increasing propensity for prosecuting staff in Knysna to completely lose touch with the needs of our community and consequent failure to effectively curb the activities of offenders in our area.

These failures have been compounded by the prolonged failure to re-open the court in Plett notwithstanding the strenuous protests of our Community Police Forum, the granting of a right to use the old railway building for this purpose and repeated undertakings to address the matter.

2. As part of the consequence of 1. but also as a result of the general trend at the Knysna Magistrates Court, increasingly criminals are granted bail notwithstanding the fact that they are known criminals with previous convictions and several criminal cases currently pending against them and constitute an ongoing threat to the community in Plett.

Two recent examples are:-

a. A case in which a known criminal severely assaulted an 80 year old woman in her flat in central Plettenberg Bay. Whilst she lay in hospital for several days undergoing facial reconstruction surgery and whilst the SAPS details, having carried out excellent investigative work in identifying the accused from fingerprints left at the scene and property recovered from the accused, were on their way from George with the fingerprint evidence, the accused was released on his own recognizance (free bail) and is now back on the streets of Plettenberg Bay laughing at the efforts of the Police to bring him to book.

b. From recent posts on our web page appeared the following report:-Just after 6 am this morning a suspect was caught by ADT at a house in Dassen Island. My father went to speak to the ADT team that were waiting with the suspect for the police and recognized the man. My father was summoned to court with regards to a suspect that had been involved in a number of break ins (including ours) - THIS WAS THE SAME MAN!!!!! While speaking to ADT - my father was told that this guy was released from jail on Friday - and here he is Monday morning - breaking in again. A neighbour also mentioned that he is the same guy that was seen running from a house in Dassen Island with a backpack a few weeks ago!!!  It was said - but not in so many words - this guy will be out by Wednesday!!! Regards Lara Dassen Island Resident AND

c. A culprit (who criminally accosted many people in Plett and was involved in many crime related incidents ), was chased down and apprehended by SAPS, Plett Security, Smhart Alarms and Garden Route Communication and placed under arrest. The suspect was also identified by complainants today, who were victims by the hand of this suspect.

These criminals received bail and are BACK on Plett’s streets!

We as a community should stand together and speak up and determine to:-

· No longer tolerate the nonchalance with which known criminals with pending cases are given bail.

· Support our Local Police Force who is completely frustrated in their attempts to bring criminals to Justice as criminals no longer fear arrest, well knowing that once they get to Knysna they will get bail and be back on our streets.

PLEASE take the attached petition to your friends, family, co-workers and neighbours, get their signatures and on completion, e-mail, fax or deliver by hand to Plett Security’s Offices

Thanking you in advance for your co-operation and remember

Quote often used by Bruce Richardson, CPF Chairman ......

All it takes for evil to prosper is for good people to do nothing!

PBCPA Plettenberg Bay    Contact the author of the petition

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