New light on crime in the dark

2015-11-10 06:00
One of the new street lights which have been erected in Vanguard over the last few weeks. PHOTOS: Earl Haupt

One of the new street lights which have been erected in Vanguard over the last few weeks. PHOTOS: Earl Haupt

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Vanguard and Welcome Estate residents will feel safer after the installation of new streetlights in the area.

The area has been dogged by petty crime in recent months and the need to light various open spaces in the neighbourhood became essential.

Anthony Moses, ward councillor for the area, says the improvement in the infrastructure promotes a safe city.

He also says a reason for the upgrade is because “many of the poles are concrete and normally crack at the top without being seen”.

The project, which started in August, will be completed at the end of this month.

“We have completed inbetween the court area, Guardian, Jonkershoek, Ascension, Postern Road square, Devils Peak, Blou­krans, 3rd Street in Welcome Estate,” says Moses.

New cables have been laid as well to replace those stolen. At the same time, all electrical substations in the area have been fenced off for further security.

“Deterioration of the infrastructure leads to high cost of maintenance. Therefore improvement is needed on a regular basis as funding allows it,” says Moses.

The older streetlights are still in use, providing increased visibility at night with the new streetlights in dark areas.

“There has been a decrease in crime in view of the dark spots being properly provided with new lights and regular patrols being carried out by necessary law enforcement as well as the community watch being on patrol in the area,” Moses says.

Kadar Jacobs, chairperson of the Manenberg Community Police Forum (CPF), welcomes the new light.

“As long as it is functional and it serves a good purpose and the impact is going to be a reduction in crime or potential crime, we are very happy.”

Jacobs says the extra lighting has also allowed the CPF to mobilise more community members, which in turn increases its presence, which will go a long way in the continued effort to fight crime on a street level.

Jacobs points out that more can be done to aid the CPF’s efforts and strengthen relations between the community and the law enforcement authorities.

Need for cameras“We would really like to see more cameras at strategic places which we would be able to monitor from a central place. If the City and the department of community safety can actually erect these things, we will provide the people to monitor them, because we have a lot of unemployed people.”

He says the training of community members, even for a small stipend, will help alleviate the stress on local police officers.

“As long as there are trained community members and a line of communication that works very well, we will reduce crime to almost zero, because then we are able to cover a wide area. What it also does is it reduces the dependency on the police to be visible all the time in certain areas and it frees them up to attend to emergencies, as opposed to driving around looking for crime. That would be our next objective – to see if we can get these cameras up.”

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