CRA Insurance & Public Safety – South Africa
By Noxolo Sibiya
It was found that motorists would often repair their vehicles before reporting a theft out of motor vehicle case at the Brooklyn police station.
Brooklyn police have urged motorists whose cars have been broken into to avoid having their cars fixed before they report the incident to the police.
“It was found that motorists would often repair their vehicles before reporting a theft out of motor vehicle case at Brooklyn SAPS,” said police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach.
“A vehicle that was broken into is considered to be a crime scene.”
Weilbach said investigations were hampered and evidence destroyed when vehicles are repaired before fingerprints can be taken.
She said it happened that motorists would open cases only after the insurance companies demand it for claims for losses and damages.
“The SAPS have a mandate to investigate all reported cases even though the complainant only reports it for insurance purposes,” she said.
“Therefore all vehicles must be taken for fingerprints when a case is opened.” “When necessary, the owner of the vehicle’s fingerprints will also be taken for elimination purposes.”
Although fingerprints do not always lead to an immediate arrest, Weilbach said they could assist in future arrests. “When the same suspect commits another crime, it can help investigating officers to link one crime to another, involving the same person.
When the suspect gets arrested he or she will then be charged on all the outstanding cases,” she said.
“Fingerprint identification also helps investigating officers to track the record, previous arrests and convictions of a criminal. This profile is placed inside a case docket before it is taken to court.”
She also urged residents and business owners to be patient after a robbery or a burglary allow the police to attend to the crime scene and to arrange for fingerprints before starting to clean up and to repair doors or windows.
“There is a risk that evidence can be destroyed with every person that enters a crime scene. That is why crime scenes are cordoned off by the SAPS. A crime scene should always be treated as holy ground.”
What you need to know:
– There is a risk that evidence can be destroyed with every person that enters a crime scene.
– Nothing must be touched before the SAPS arrives on the scene. Community members and security officers that are first responders to crime scenes can assist the SAPS by denying people such as curious onlookers access to it.
– During the investigation, the police will ensure that all information and forensic evidence are gathered to trace possible suspects. This evidence is also crucial to successfully prosecute suspects during court cases.
Article Credit To Pretoria Record.