Robbers spoil the picnic at park

2017-10-10 06:01
Robbers are reportedly making Paradise Park in Newlands unsafe to walk through. PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

Robbers are reportedly making Paradise Park in Newlands unsafe to walk through. PHOTO: nomzamo yuku

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Paradise Park in Newlands is reportedly a shelter for criminals and is unsafe to walk through.

A concerned resident, Sean Crookson, says people are robbed of their belongings, and sometimes injured, by young men who hide and wait for targets.

Crookson says recently a lady asked him to escort her through the park. “When I asked why, she told me that she had been attacked early in the morning on the way to work about two weeks ago. She reported it directly to a security guard, who chased him away. For those people [working] in and around Hiddingh Avenue, the park is a convenient route to the station and taxis.”

Crookson adds that incidents happened as recently as Tuesday and Wednesday last week. In one case a woman who was walking in a nearby street was apparently robbed at gunpoint. The suspected robber was busted by construction workers in the area and ran away using the shortcut in the park.

When People’s Post visited the park during a lunch hour on a weekday there was a family outing at the park. The mother of the children, who did not want to be named, says the park only feels safe if there are other people around and the security guards are present.

The security guards who were on site during the visit say they have heard about a few robberies but no official case has been opened. They advise victims to immediately inform them if they suspect anything or get robbed in the park.

Ward councillor Ian Iverson says the City of Cape Town tried to make sure the park is safe but it is a difficult task. “This is a large park with many trees and play equipment, so it is not easy to see if someone is acting in a suspicious manner. On the upper level of the park, ADT has a hut for its guard who is often around and about. I would urge residents to alert him if they become aware of any possible criminal behaviour. I also encourage residents to store on their cellphones the police number 10111 or the emergency number of the City so that they can call for help,” Iverson says.

Abdul Kerbelker, the Claremont Community Policing Forum chairperson, says: “Last week there was one complaint at the park. And adjacent to the park, at the corner of Thibault and Buchannan at the footbridge, there has been an increase in robberies. The robberies make both residents walking in the area as well as people working in the area extremely uncomfortable.”

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