Glenwood unites in fight against huge surge in crime

2014-06-10 00:00

THE Bulwer and Umbilo Community Policing Forums are looking at how to make their streets safer, but for one Durban businesswoman it is too late.

Yesterday the CPF, Metro police and a local security company met to find a way to protect residents and stop businesses from relocating.

But Andrea Lipschitz, who owned a B&B in Glewnwood, has already made up her mind.

She believes that vagrancy, prostitution and whoonga boys are running the Glenwood area down, chasing business away in the process.

Lipschitz, former owner of Bogain Villa in Cohen Road, said she has given up on her business as it was no longer safe in the area.

“After 12 years in this business I have decided to sell. More than once my clients have been directly affected by crime in this area. Car windows get smashed, whoonga addicts are aggressive. They don’t beg, they demand money to buy drugs. You get all these children from Albert Park flocking into this area. Things have become so unbearable that I have sold my business. I’m moving further north just to get away from this mess,” said Lipschitz. She said she’s left with only bad memories about the place she called home for so many years.

“Everything is out of control. I have since installed all the necessary security measures to keep the vagrants and whoonga addicts away but that didn’t stop them from targeting my clients. Despite this, I have recently had to fight off one young boy who tried to force my gate open. The authorities have failed to handle the situation. We are prisoners in our own homes,” she said.

Colonel Emmanuel Correa of the Umbilo police said prostitution and vagrancy issues can only be solved if the community joins forces and works together. Captain Dingaan Motsamai of the Metro police said the aim is to shift whoonga addicts back to the parks where Safer City and the municipality can access them easily and provide the necessary interventions.

Mzansi Security spokesperson Michelle Caswell committed to provide four night-shift security guards in the Davenport area for a month.

She said the guards will have radio contact with the company vehicle which will be dispatched to the area. Dog and armed response units will be on stand-by for the duration of this period.

“If it’s a success, the project will be rolled out to other parts of Glenwood. Street children, prostitutes and whoonga gangs are running this area into the ground. Crime at night has made this area almost a no-go area and restaurants and other businesses are affected. The plan is to have these guards on night shift and they will carry cameras to assist in eradicating the on-going prostitution problem,” said Caswell.

She said her company will cover the operational costs for the one-month pilot period.

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