Deal Party businesses are being targeted by criminals, with about 50 businesses burgled over the past three months.
The increase in crime has prompted police to call business owners to assist with curbing the upsurge in crime.
According to police and security officials, more than 50 businesses have been burgled and 30 armed robberies reported over the past three months. Police held a joint clampdown operation aimed at searching people and vehicles in the area on Friday.
In an attempt to get businesses to assist, a community police forum was launched to encourage businesses to alert police to suspicious people or vehicles circling the area.
Police said that due to Deal Party being predominantly businesses, it was very difficult to police – particularly after hours when shops closed.
“Once the premises are locked up and staff leave, it is very difficult for a patrolling police car or even a responding officer to gain entry to these premises,” police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said.
“Criminals are aware of this, which forms part of the problem.
He said criminals used railway lines to enter and exit premises at night.
Other problems in the business district include armed robberies and theft of items out of cars.
Intsimbi Manufacturing owner and Policing Forum chairwoman for the area, Carlo Reyneke, said she had been attempting to get building landlords and tenants on board to fight crime.
“We do not want Deal Party to become considered the gun town of Port Elizabeth,” she said.
“This is a business area and we collectively bring a lot of income into the area and also make up lots of jobs.
“One of the major issues we have is that the landlords of the buildings do not want to get involved.
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