‘This sector is a joke’

2016-11-22 06:00
This container that was requested by residents of Parkwood for use as a satellite police station has become a community white elephant. Residents are now calling for its removal as it has apparently become a hub for ill activities. The container is set to be moved to a new location.  PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

This container that was requested by residents of Parkwood for use as a satellite police station has become a community white elephant. Residents are now calling for its removal as it has apparently become a hub for ill activities. The container is set to be moved to a new location. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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“We need to face the truth and realise that Parkwood is not okay. Blood is still flowing in our community.”

These are the words of Voice of Parkwood chairperson Paul Philips.

Philips says although the police recently reported on successes in sector 1, killings and shootings in the area are still a concern.

Despite threats to boycott and picket at an imbizo in Parkwood last week, Philips decided to engage with the police, airing his concerns. The meeting went off without a hitch.

However, residents’ tempers flared during the meeting.

“What the police are telling us tonight does not deal exclusively with what our people of Parkwood are going through on a daily basis. The gangs, drugs and addicts are still in our community and the residents are suffering because of this,” Philips stressed.

He added that the sector was “dysfunctional”.

“This sector is a joke and if anybody agrees that the sector is okay, it’s a lie. It’s time we looked each other in the eye and told the truth,” he said.

“We can’t keep telling a good story to the public when we know it’s not the truth. Parkwood is starting to feel like a social club with our [subforum] chairperson becoming too friendly with certain people. This subforum must be disbanded if we want to go ahead and look at a way forward for this community.

“People will now say that I just want to be negative all the time but it truly is unacceptable what is happening in Parkwood,” Philips stressed while residents applauded him.

Fuad Titus, chairperson of the community police forum (CPF), responded to Philips, saying that the “problems in the community shouldn’t become bigger than the community”.

With regard to safety and security, Titus said the CPF was working with other neighbourhood watches.

With crime escalating in the area, he confirmed that about 1000 neighbourhood watch volunteers were ready to help with crime prevention in Parkwood.

“We have been in talks to have this materialise since last year January and now we have reinforcements that want to help Parkwood,” Titus said.

Bad breeding groundDuring the meeting a resident of Viljoen Walk said she was concerned about a container that was a “breeding ground for ill activities”.

“One morning just before 05:00, there was a group of men standing at this container. I was terrified. I am asking for this container to be removed,” she says.

In response to this request Titus said he had a proposal for an alternative use for the container by neighbourhood watch members.

However, Philips said, the Voice of Parkwood organisation was negotiating alternative space for the container already.

“We want to have the container moved to the other side of Parkwood and use it for its original intent, which is a satellite police station. We are in the process of having it moved,” Philips said.

Colonel Shawn van Wyk, commander of Grassy Park Police Station, has urged residents to become involved with the police’s reservist programme to ensure the safety of the community.

V If you would like to apply or want more information on how to become a reservist, contact 071 354 2490 or visit the police station to collect an application form.

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