‘Don’t withdraw cases’

2016-05-03 06:00

Residents in the Grassy Park police precinct have been implored to not withdraw cases against criminal offenders.

This comes after Grassy Park station commander Colonel Shawn van Wyk pleaded with residents not to withdraw serious violent crime cases, to support crime prevention.

“I want to appeal to the community not to withdraw serious violent crime cases, especially against members of gangs. Our efforts are weakened when cases are withdrawn which allows known gangsters and violent criminals back into our community spaces,” Van Wyk says.

He says the police’s efforts to curb crime in their area are hampered further if residents do not co-operate.

“Our efforts to curb crime depend on the co-operation of the community and the criminal justice system. A case in point is the bail conditions which barred Ashley Saulse from entering Parkwood Estate,” Van Wyk explains.

Van Wyk says “the complainant subsequently withdrew the complaint” which resulted in his bail conditions to be nullified.

Van Wyk says due to the this, it allowed “the person back in the community where he randomly shot at youngsters in the park.”

“He was subsequently arrested and is now back in Pollsmoor. The community needs to understand that they have an important role to play in stabilising crime-ravaged communities. It requires being strong and not to fall prey to the subtle influence of gangs and criminals who don’t have the interest and well-being of our children at heart,” Van Wyk says.

He also urged the community to report illegal firearms and to contribute to a safer living environment.

“Last week Tuesday (19 May) a 16-year-old boy of Parkwood was arrested with five .38 special rounds. We appeal to the youth not to commit crime or allow adults to use them to commit crime but rather finish your schooling and pursue a career you can be proud of,” Van Wyk encourages.

He adds that often police officers come under fire when they enter areas to conduct crime prevention operations.

“Often community members attack police and damage police vehicles when police are doing operations against illegal shebeens and drug houses.
“We realise that illegal liquor and drug outlets create a third economy and wish to urge our community not to make themselves dependent on the ill-gotten gains of these criminals and to stand by the police who will do their utmost to protect them,” he says.

The Grassy Park police will not tolerate criminal activities and disobeying of the law especially “in (their) presence” and will protect innocent lives and property, Van Wyk stresses.
While police are warning and urging residents to co-operate with crime prevention, a social media message has been doing the rounds “alerting residents” to a crime syndicate.
The message which was sent over the past week details how three suspects have been noticed “prowling” the Grassy Park area.
“All residents in the Grassy Park Area, especially from Prince George Drive (Klip Road), Victoria Road, this serves as a warning of a crime syndicate operating in this area.
“They are a group of thieves prowling in the vicinity,” the message reads.
“We are a group of ex-police and military guys living in this area and have been monitoring these thugs as the police are not doing anything in our communities and it has become unsafe.
“We need to take our streets back and not be prisoners in our own homes,” it says.

The message then goes on to explain how these group of vigilant residents have identified a few of the thugs.
“We have identified a few of these thugs. They are a couple tall fair of complexion with green eyes male and a short female known as ‘Kayla’. They are the ringleaders operating in our areas.”
It further details residents should be alert of people “strolling with trolleys”.
The origin of the message could not be verified but police have confirmed that this has not been reported to them and they are not aware of the message.

Anyone with information on crime can call the police at 0217003940 or Crime Stop at 0860010111. All information will be treated as highly confidential.

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