Northdale residents ‘under seige’ following recent spike in crime

2015-05-18 09:10
Jay Jugwanth

Jay Jugwanth (File)

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RESIDENTS living near Woodpecker and Stork roads in Northdale have been alarmed by a spike in crime in the otherwise quiet neighbourhood.

Incidents include attempted hijackings, smash and grabs, and burglaries.

But Community Policing Forum chairperson Jay Jugwanth, who held an urgent community meeting on Friday, said many residents fail to report the crimes to the police despite sharing their traumatic experiences with each other.

Residents who spoke to The Witness have also pointed out that overgrown vacant land, which they have since taken to cutting themselves, creates the camouflage for the criminals to either hide their booty, scope out properties or escape undetected.

Ward 31 councillor Rooksana Ahmed said they were “under siege”.

“The residents in that part of my ward, especially Stork Road, are under siege and subject to burglary, hijacking and armed robberies,” said Ahmed.

Residents who spoke to The Witness said they “feared for their lives” and asked to remain anonymous.

“Some evenings, sheets of corrugated iron and fibre glass sheeting is carried out of the unkempt bushes. We believe these items are stolen in the day and stored in the bush across the road from our homes,” said a resident.

Another resident said they are cutting the bush themselves “because the bushes are a hide-out for thieves” and their pleas to the Msunduzi Municipality have remained unanswered.

Jugwanth said they invited the city’s parks and recreation department to the community meeting but no one attended. “The situation in Stork Road is definitely serious. This is not a broken window pane at a swimming pool we are talking about, it is human life at stake,” said Jugwanth.

He said the Mountain Rise SAPS had committed to stepping up patrols in the area and to help relaunch a neighbourhood watch

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