Locals mad at police

2015-11-03 06:00

Tempers are flaring in Parkwood as residents are sick and tired of seeming inaction to stop gang violence.

After a spate of shootings, a group of concerned residents marched to the Grassy Park police station on Tuesday last week to air their frustration about gang shootings and to demand intervention by the police.

But after airing their concerns to the Grassy Park police station commander, the group stormed out of Colonel Shawn van Wyk’s office, saying their concerns were not considered a priority by the police.

Community and religious leader Pastor Paul Phillips said they were fed up with the “senseless killings in the community”.

“We are sitting with a huge problem on our hands where youngsters are running around with guns and doing the killing. The older gangsters are taking advantage of our vulnerable youth by enticing them to a life of crime,” Phillips said.

He added residents were too scared to come out of their homes due to the shootings “and this is unacceptable”.

Community worker Yasmine Abrahams said at the march they had had enough of the shootings and wanted police to intervene urgently.

“We came here today to ask the help of police. We have been cooperating with them as they requested but we feel they aren’t doing their part. And police need to stop making excuses about too little manpower and not enough vehicles. We do not want to hear it,” Abrahams said.

She added a shooting that took place on Monday morning last week resulted in a man being shot in the crossfire while walking his grandson to school.

“This is ridiculous. Our innocent citizens’ lives are in danger because you have gun-wielding criminals in the area who do not care for the repercussions,” she said.

Van Wyk said during the meeting residents should join their subsector forums to help in crime-fighting.

“According to the safety structure for Grassy Park in sector 1, a neighbourhood watch must be established. Community policing also needs to take place in these areas,” Van Wyk said.

“If one looks at the problems in Parkwood, you would understand why these crime issues cannot be tackled by the police alone. That is why we want to join forces with the community of Parkwood,” Van Wyk added.
Another resident who attended the meeting at the police station but who requested to remain anonymous said the meeting bore no fruit.

“We came to the police for help but when we got here we were told that we had to start neighbourhood watches and police our areas as a community. Do they know how dangerous that is? We can’t go up against gangsters with guns and place our lives in danger. We just feel that the police are not taking our concerns seriously. They are sending us back with no solutions,” he said.

Grassy Park police spokesperson Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith confirms there was a shooting incident on Monday at 00:30 in which a 17-year-old boy affiliated to a gang was shot in Parkers Walk, Parkwood.
“He was shot several times. He died in hospital later the morning,” she says.

No arrests have yet been made. A murder case was opened for investigation.

On the same morning at 08:00 a shooting incident was reported in Parkwood Avenue, Parkwood by a 58-year-old man.
“He alleged he was taking his grandchild to a crèche and heard a gunshot. He ran home and realised he had been shot in the back. The victim received medical care but the motive for the shooting is unknown and the suspects are still at large,” Kleinsmith says.
On Tuesday at about 06:00, Kleinsmith continues, police were called out to a murder scene in Eric Viljoen Walk, Parkwood.
“Upon arrival, members found a 31-year-old man lying in the road with gunshot wounds to his chest and head. It is believed that the deceased ran after he was shot somewhere and fell and died there,” Kleinsmith explains.
Two arrests were made on Friday, but the motive for the murder is still unknown.
What are your thoughts? Send an email to post@peoplespost.co.za.
Anyone with information on crime can call the police on 021 700 3940, Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or the sector manager Sergeant Heinrich Gordon on 082 522 2881.

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