Fed up with vagrants

2015-05-05 06:00

Stone-throwing, stabbings, destruction of grave sites and a baby snatching.

These incidents have Simon’s Town residents riled up and they are requesting urgent action against vagrants who commit crimes in the precinct.

It all started with stone-throwing. A woman, reportedly a vagrant, well-known to Simon’s Town residents was reported for hurling stones at motorists along Main Road. After more complaints surfaced, police made a call for witnesses to come forward. They claimed a case could not be opened against the woman in the absence of a report.

However, the Community Police Forum (CPF) says they have raised the issue with police for several months for action to be taken before a major accident occurs.

CPF deputy chairperson David Erickson provided People’s Post with a letter from a concerned resident who claims, after being thrown with stones twice in three days, she went to the station to report the matter.

She writes: “ I was shocked at SAPS’ attitude and the way I got spoken to. I doubt I will willingly return. They are incredibly defensive and just want you to hear about how their hands are tied.

“All I want to know is what can I do to ensure this does not happen again and get the lady put either into an institution or away in a cell but away from potentially harming someone”.

According to station commander Captain Jacqui Johnson, the woman has since been arrested and appeared in court on Thursday 26 February. She is currently at Valkenberg hospital under observation until her next appearance.

According to accounts from businesses the activities of vagrants are having an adverse effect on trade.

In one incident a homeless man allegedly stabbed another man at the jetty in front of a group of tourists.

A local business wrote a letter to the CPF raising their concerns.

In a more recent incident, a restaurant manager witnessed a foreign couple’s distress when a known vagrant approached them near Jubilee Square, snatched their young child from the father’s arms and drunkenly kissed and hugged the child.

The hysterical parents reportedly handed the woman money for their child back.

Erickson says the CPF believes the prevalence of vagrancy is increasing and vagrants “feel safe” because “police don’t hassle them in addition to the availability of “hideouts”.

The destruction of graves at the Old Burial Grounds by a vagrant was also raised as a concern. The man was seen by People’s Post throwing bricks and removing litter from bins and throwing it on the pathways.

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