Police focus on shootings

2016-01-12 06:00
A firearm that was found abandoned in the Grassy Park precinct on Tuesday 22 December at Geduld Court, Ottery was one of the crime incidents keeping the police on their toes during the festive period.

A firearm that was found abandoned in the Grassy Park precinct on Tuesday 22 December at Geduld Court, Ottery was one of the crime incidents keeping the police on their toes during the festive period.

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The Grassy Park police had their hands full over the festive season as efforts to curb crime in the area took priority.

Several arrests were made and police were vigilant during this time to ensure residents and law-abiding citizens were protected, allowing them to enjoy the festive period.

In one incident, police arrested a suspect a day after they found a 25-year-old deceased man in Parkers Walk, Parkwood.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith says they received a report from the community on Wednesday 16 December at 02:20. The victim was found with a gunshot wound to his head.

“Residents say they heard a shot and found the deceased. Upon arrival at the scene, police members found a group of people standing next to a staircase and the victim was lying on the ground and his head was full of blood,” Kleinsmith says.

She adds: “According to the community the deceased was a drug addict but not a gangster.”

No cartridges were found on the scene.

“A 32-year-old male was arrested at about 14:00 the next day,” Kleinsmith says.

On the same day, at about 06:30, a shooting was reported.

“Upon arrival at the scene in 3rd Avenue, Lotus River a police member was informed by a metro police member that the 32-year-old deceased victim had been shot multiple times in the head and back. He was lying in the road,” Kleinsmith says.

Seven cartridges and one live round were found on the scene.

She adds the suspects and motive for the murder are unknown at this stage.

In another incident on the same day, Kleinsmith says, three men were shot at about 06:20.

“Upon arrival at the scene in Woodgate Court, Ottery the victims were found with gunshot wounds,” Kleinsmith says.

One of the victims, a 20-year-old with a gunshot wound to his stomach, died. A 27-year-old was shot in the left leg and a 16-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and bum.

The murder and two attempted murders are currently under investigation.

Kleinsmith confirms the shooting was gang-related and the victims are affiliated to the Mongrels gang from Ottery Flats.

On Friday 18 December at about 09:55 Grassy Park sector manager Sergeant Heinrich Gordon and officers of law enforcement and metro police searched a residence in Parkwood Avenue, where a well-known alleged drug dealer lives.

“When the yard downstairs was searched with the metro police dog unit, various drugs were found, such as tik, unga, dagga and mandrax tablets,” Kleinsmith says. The drugs are worth about R150 000.

Kleinsmith says no-one was present near the drugs and they were handed in as abandoned at the Grassy Park police station.

On Tuesday 29 December at about 16:20 Detective Sergeant S Fredericks spotted a suspect he was looking for in the Lotus River area, Kleinsmith says. 

The suspect was found in 3rd Avenue and was wanted for a case of housebreaking in December.
“Fredericks arrested the 33-year-old suspect for the housebreaking case. The suspect then offered to give the officer R250 to let him go. Fredericks opened a case of bribery against the suspect. The money was handed to Grassy Park police,” Kleinsmith says.
On Wednesday 30 December at about 13:00 the Grassy Park crime prevention unit arrested a 24-year-old woman after following up on information that drugs were being sold at a residence in Ivy Road, Parkwood, says Kleinsmith.
“Upon searching the premises 43 stoppe of dagga and a parcel were found.”
Another home was searched in Parkside, Parkwood on the same day at 23:30.
“Several rounds, eight 5.56, five 7.65 and one 3.57, were found. A 31-year-old man was arrested on charges of possession of ammunition.”
Philip Bam, spokesperson of the Community Police Forum (CPF), says all efforts to curb crime are appreciated by the community.
“However, the law enforcement programme appears to be determined by the gangs and criminals. Police resources were focused on certain areas in the policing precinct, leaving vast areas vulnerable to housebreaking and theft. The action is too much of a hit-and-run nature and not sustainable,” Bam says.
“Better all-round results could be achieved by spreading the forces throughout the policing precinct, instead of focusing on areas where the shootings take place. Once the high police presence leaves the area, the shootings start all over again. In spite of the police presence in the gang-ridden parts, the guns still remain. We need yet to see the many guns, handguns and high-calibre rifles being removed from our area in such numbers that will make the area safer for our community,” Bam says. 
He congratulates Grassy Park police for the drug busts made during the festive season, adding that drug busts are a “great contributor to frustrating the drug trade in the area”.
“However, one needs to ask how many of the main drug dealers were apprehended, charged and convicted. It is common knowledge that the conviction rate for the main drug dealers is virtually non-existent. Our concern, also voiced by the communities living in the area, is that it would appear that too many of the known drug dealers escape police attention and hence drugs flow back onto the streets,” he says.
Bam says the CPF will be supporting the police in getting more resources for the area.
“It is unacceptable that on some shifts there are only two vehicles instead of a minimum of four. We will also do more to lift the morale of members through appreciation initiatives. The CPF will also do more by mobilising the neighbourhood watches.”

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