Temporary fencing to stomp out crime

2015-06-23 06:00
Roadworks conducted on De Wet Road which will form part of the new De Wet Road has sparked concerns with some residents saying foot traffic through the area has resulted in the escalation of crime in the area.

PHOTO: 
Chevon Booysen

Roadworks conducted on De Wet Road which will form part of the new De Wet Road has sparked concerns with some residents saying foot traffic through the area has resulted in the escalation of crime in the area. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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“Unsavoury characters and an escalation in criminal activities” have spurred on a request for the closure of Mellville Road in Ottery East.

Residents living in Mellville Road say they have been plagued by house burglaries, muggings and car theft in recent months and this led to a petition by the residents to have the road closed.

The petition calls for the erection of a fence at the eastern end of De Wet Road and Devonshire Road.

One resident, who did not want to be named, says she has been on high alert in recent weeks when she noticed crime incidents were on the rise in the area.

“When I spoke to my neighbours they would tell me about muggings or theft incidents in our road. This has made me very wary of my surroundings,” she says.

She herself has not been targeted yet but “prays” that it won’t happen.

“Normally one hears horror stories of people when they are victims of crime. I have a family and we want to feel secure in our surroundings, but if this continues to happen who says we can stay out of harm’s way?” she asks.

Another resident, who also did not want to be named out of fear of victimisation, says he has been wary of unfamiliar faces “lurking” in the neighbourhood.

“One can never be sure whom to trust and see who belongs here. I have heard of muggings in the area, but luckily I have been spared that so far,” he says.

According to the two residents the foot traffic through the area could be due to employees working in close vicinity to the roadworks in Ottery East.

“One never knows if these are people who are innocently passing. Criminals have become clever and find ways and means to conduct their sly activities,” they add.

At the recent Rondevlei Subcouncil meeting, the petition to erect fencing was supported but was granted with conditions.

It was agreed that temporary fencing would be erected at Mellville Road until the road network in the greater Ottery area is upgraded.

This road network includes the construction of a new De Wet Road between Ottery Road and the existing De Wet Road.

According to the summary made, Mellville Road will become one of only two cross links between the existing De Wet Road and the Ottery East commercial area.

Included in the conditions set out for the temporary closure, the summary states the City’s department of asset management and maintenance as the road authority reserves the right to direct that the fence be removed whenever roadworks are to take place in the area.

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