Beating around the bush

2015-03-27 00:00

NORTHDALE residents who live alongside the railway line are banding together to try and clear the thicket that thieves are taking refuge in.

Residents, especially in Krishnan and Gita roads in the upper parts of Northdale, have started their own neighbourhood watches in light of a crime wave that has plagued the area recently.

Their complaints are directed specifically at the large bushes and overgrown trees that run alongside the railway tracks that separate Northdale and Woodlands, where they believe the criminals live.

According to residents, there are burglaries almost four times a week and criminals are using the overhanging trees to gain access over the low walls of their homes or to hide out after their crimes are committed.

According to two men in charge of the neighbourhood watch in Gita Road, the criminals use the trees to get onto the roofs where they try to gain entry.

“We believe the criminals are from the Ghost Town area. Whenever they flee, they flee in that direction,” one man said.

Sushila Rajah, who has been living in the area for 50 years, said her family caught several men trying to break into their home through a window two weeks ago.

“It was in broad daylight at 9 am. They escaped into the bush after we screamed at them. If this bush and the trees are cut down, they will have nowhere to hide,” Rajah said.

Two other residents, who asked not to be named, said most of the robberies happen during the day as criminals know elderly pensioners remain alone during working hours.

Now, residents are starting to cut down the trees and trim the bushes themselves in the hope of curbing the robberies. Yesterday one resident was seen tackling the thicket with a chopper.

“This is our last hope. There used to be police vans that would patrol the area but they don’t anymore. How much higher must we build our walls?” another resident said.

Msunduzi municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said a query by The Witness about the maintenance of the bushes has been sent to the relevant municipal section for comment.


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