There has been a general increase in crime in Braamfontein according to Head of Wits Campus Control, Robert Kemp.

“Recently we have had an increase in crime in the Braamfontein area which includes muggings, theft of motor vehicles and theft out of motor vehicles,” said Kemp on Monday.

Kemp said 27 crime incidents were reported in the past two months compared to only 9 cases reported in March and April. Of the 27 crime activities reported to the police in May and June, 12 of those were also reported to Campus Control.

”We have had incidents of muggings reported in the Jorissen, de Korte Streets and along Enoch Sontonga Avenue.”

Kemp said Wits Campus Control was working with Community Policing Forums to address the “crime problem” in the area.[pullquote align=”right”]Kemp advised students not to walk around in the area after hours. [/pullquote]

Hillbrow police station’s Warrant Officer Richard Munyai said policemen were patrolling the area regularly. ”We also do what we call ‘stop and search’ with the emphasis on ‘hot spots’,” he said.

Wits student Mothupi Boipelo said she did not feel safe in the streets around campus. “I don’t go out with my cellphone anymore. When I was doing my first year I was mugged and they took a phone I had then,” said the BSc-Honours student.

Biopelo said she and a friend were accosted by a young man who took their mobile phones, while they were walking along Nelson Mandela Bridge on their way home in 2010.

Another Witsie Mbongeni Mtimkulu said although the area was “generally safe” he had heard of students being threatened with knives and their phones taken away.

Kemp urged students to make use of the “safe walk programme”. “Students can contact the Central Control Room CB1, (011-717-4444/ 011-717-6666) and request a security guard to escort them after hours.”

He said the service was offered to all students on campus, including the ones in residences and those residing in the university’s off campus residences not serviced by the institution’s busses. Kemp advised students not to walk around in the area after hours.