Mountain Rise rallies against crime

2012-08-30 00:00

MOUNTAIN Rise residents are looking at turning sections of the suburb into gated communities and having 24-hour patrols to keep their area safe. These were some of the suggestions made at a packed community meeting held in the Arthur Blaxall Hall on Tuesday night.

Former councillor Les Naidoo said he already had council officials look at the entrance to Sterculia Crescent and the Coronet Place area, where Dr Imitiaz Sooliman and Dr Mahomedrafi Gafoor were held up, to assess the viability of having boom gates there.

Ward councillor Thandi Matiwane said that Sobantu had also experienced a crime surge with strange cars in the area. She appealed for any crime strategy to include Sobantu Village.

Mountain Rise station commander Brigadier Francis Bantham told residents to be mindful of who they employ in their homes, saying they had to make sure that the persons they employed had legal documents and references.

She said criminals had their own intelligence in their targeted areas and gathered information.

Bantham warned of a growing drug problem, saying the need for money for drugs fuelled crime.

Community members criticised the lack of response time from the police and questioned whether the police stations were adequately equipped. Bantham said they could make available a 24-hour line at Mountain Rise, but unfortunately they had no equipment to record calls.

Community members offered to provide the recording equipment.

Bantham thanked the community for their cooperation and their willingness to want to work with the police. She cautioned however that fighting crime was a long term commitment.

Shabeer Hoosen showed how commitment worked and described how shop owners and residents in downtown Church Street had kept the area safe for the past 12 years using various methods such as cells, alarm systems and sector policing.

Sunny Gayadin, founder of the National Union of Residents and Ratepayers Association of South Africa (NURRA), later told The Witness that his organisation wanted government to deploy members of the army to work with the police in fighting crimes.

This would bolster numbers and offer more visible policing.

A sub-committee will work on a strategy to implement ideas, to be presented at in two weeks time.

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