Community in fear of ‘bridge’ vagrants

2017-11-22 06:01
PHOTO: ian CURBUTTRoberts Road Railway Bridge which is now popular for mugging incidents.

PHOTO: ian CURBUTTRoberts Road Railway Bridge which is now popular for mugging incidents.

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SIX months ago the Msunduzi Municipality promised to remove vagrants who live under the Roberts Road bridge in Clarendon, however, the vagrants remain in the area.

Clarendon residents, pedestrians and domestic workers on their way to work claim they have been mugged by the vagrants, who then flee and hide beneath the bridge.

Domestic worker Thandi Ntuli, who walks across the bridge to work every day, told Maritzburg Fever she waits for a group of people to cross the bridge with her because she doesn’t as she fears she will become a victim too.

“We wish the municipality would remove them. Since I started working in Clarendon two years ago I know of many people who have been mugged on the bridge. Last Friday [November 3] a woman was robbed of her handbag, luckily though, she had taken her money and cellphone out of it.

“When they [vagrants] realised there was no money inside they threw it on the ground, which was later found by someone.

“It had her phone number and ID document inside and the person who found it called her to claim it,” she said.

Ntuli said she now keeps her important documents else where. She alleged that when victims report the muggings to the police, the vagrants hide and police cannot find them.

Rowan White, Clarendon CPF Chairperson said the Msunduzi Municipality removed the vagrants once, but they returned and continued to live under the bridge.

“Our team and Magma Security chase them and monitor the bridge, but unfortunately, they can’t be everywhere at the same time as they also need to monitor other areas in Clarendon,” he said.

White said vagrants have been seen breaking into houses in Roberts Road, but said Magma Security is doing whatever they can to keep crime rate down.

“Crime numbers have gone down in Clarendon compared to last year. We see the difference and we will continue to work hard.”

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond at the time of going to print.

CLARENDON CRIME STATS

2016

2 theft of vehicle

8 residential theft

16 residential burglary

1 armed robbery

3 attempted burglary

multiple muggings (Roberts Road bridge)

2017

7 residential theft

9 residential burglary

2 residential robbery

2 attempted burglary

multiple muggings (Roberts Road bridge)

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