Motion for security

2015-09-22 06:00
The Athlone subcouncil has supported a motion to establish a permanent Metro Police unit at the Hanover Park CBD. Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede submitted the motion at a recent subcouncil meeting due to complaints received by residents relat

The Athlone subcouncil has supported a motion to establish a permanent Metro Police unit at the Hanover Park CBD. Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede submitted the motion at a recent subcouncil meeting due to complaints received by residents relat

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A motion for a metro police unit to be hosted in Hanover Park has been supported by the Athlone subcouncil.

This came after ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede requested the sub council support the motion for a metro police unit due to resident complaints relating to the “lack of policing in the area”.

“The most complaints involve robberies, vandalism of our CBD and many contact crimes. We are sitting with a serious challenge in the area,” Van der Rheede says.

He adds due to the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (Murp) being introduced to the Hanover Park area as well, residents should be afforded safety and security as a priority “especially if we are to establish a new hospital in the area”.

“Our staff at Hanover Park Day Hospital were held up at gunpoint two weeks ago. Ambulances and security were held up at the same facility. The result is that our staff are no longer willing to work under such unsafe conditions.”

Van der Rheede adds in his motivation sent to the sub council that the Hanover Park CBD has “eight different security companies all paid by government and yet it has not resulted in a drop in crime or vandalism of our facilities”.

“It will be a fruitless exercise if we have a new hospital, but the conditions with regard to safety and security do not change. We had two incidents over the past two weeks which include the halting of roadworks in the area,” Van der Rheede explains.

He further adds that gangs in the area are steering towards “organised crime” saying that gangs are now moving across territories.

“We have noticed that gangsters are moving into each other’s territories and instead of shooting they are now engaging in contact crimes. The community has expressed their concern and asked me to convey their request for a permanent metro police unit to be based in Hanover Park,” Van der Rheede says.

Resident Mariam Goliath says she would be delighted if the permanent metro police unit materialises.

“I really hope this becomes a reality for the community and that we do not have to wait long for it to come to the area. We are in desperate need of security, and having a unit in the area will definitely help in the fight against crime,” Goliath says.

She adds she has witnessed crime scenes and heard about crime scenes that have played off at and around the CBD.
“Just a few weeks ago they caught a guy at the CBD who was arrested on charges of fraud, I heard. And there has been shootings around the CBD area for many years. It’s so dangerous at times that you don’t know if you’re coming or going,” Goliath says.
She adds she looks forward to the establishment of the unit “before more lives are lost unnecessarily in the area”.

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