Neighbours, doing it for themselves

2016-04-19 06:00
Structural integrity is an issue on the wall. Photo: supplied

Structural integrity is an issue on the wall. Photo: supplied

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HILLCREST Park Neighbourhood Watch (HPNW) follows the “broken window” theory and takes a zero tolerance approach in area degradation and security of the community, their families and employees. This involves a close working relationship with the police and emergency services. A recent project undertaken by the association this year was the taxi rank security fence repairs.

According to Shaun Lyle, HPNW chairman, Transnet rail reserve forms the border between Hillcrest Park and the Hillcrest CBD and the area­ requires daily patrols and conservation efforts.

“The Inanda taxi rank backs onto the rail reserve adjacent to a shopping centre which has become a notorious hot spot for illegal trade, drug dealing and fencing stolen.

“Previously the Hillcrest Park side of the wall was used as an illegal shebeen­ and gambling hideout and this has since been removed by HPNW surveillance and operations in the area,” he said.

Lyle said that the area security has become a concern as the razor- capped brick wall, which is three metres high and the 1.8 m section of palisade fencing is either scaled, damaged or vandalised.

The focus on the project was to repair and replaced the vandalised razor wire and struts on the wall.

“An assessment discovered that there were many vandalised fencing brackets.

“This is the reason for the razor­ coil problem, but also alarming damage to the integrity of the structure, with a longitude break the length of the wall.”

He said that further damage is being caused by a wild ficus that has taken­ root in the exposed crack.

“Our assessment suggests the wall is about to collapse potentially causing injury and damage plus exposing a security risk to Hillcrest Park,”said Lyle.

HPNW members were deployed to the site last week and repaired the wire. They will be contacting conservancy experts regarding the ficus trees, and will aim to repair the structure of the wall.

HPNW calls on the community to join their fight against social ills.

“Our collective eyes and ears will make a huge difference. The reality now is it’s not if you will be targeted, but rather when,” Lyle said.

“If you live in Hillcrest Park we need you. Without the support of the community we cannot take our neighbourhood back.”

Ways to get proactively involved:

• join the task team for structured area patrols; and

• Join the special projects team - anti-litter, anti-grafitti or anti-loitering.

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