Call for unity, peace

2019-02-19 06:00
Colonel Sizwe Mpindwa said communities need to work together to build a peaceful environment.PHOTO:THABANG KUAHO

Colonel Sizwe Mpindwa said communities need to work together to build a peaceful environment.PHOTO:THABANG KUAHO

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Maitland police have called for unity and peace among neighbours.

This comes after residents of Windsor Close brought forward their safety and peace concerns (or lack thereof) to the police and ward councillor.

Residents claim that two households in the area pose a threat to them. They say the two houses are used for a range of unpleasent activities including alcohol abuse and the constant playing of loud music.

In an interview with People’s Post last week, *Paul said the once-peaceful neighbourhood has turned into a nightmare.

“There is no peace in the neighbourhood. These people play music all night and we cannot sleep. When they drink, they dispose their empty bottles in the streets or in front of one of the neighbours’ yard,” he said.

He said the situation has become so bad that law enforcement officials had to be called a number of times.

“Once the police come, they maintain the peace for a while but go back to their ways soon after.”

Paul claimed they tried talking to the owners of the houses, but were met with hostility.

“I have gone over to one of the houses a number of times to ask them to keep the music down because people needed to sleep. But harsh words were always hurled at me.”

Another resident, *Mary said the amount of visitors were causing discomfort to other residents.

“People are living in fear because some of these visitors are known criminals from Factreton. We are living in fear,” Mary said.

People’s car batteries were allegedly stolen and property vandalised.

One of the alleged perpetrators declined an interview request with People’s Post, but spoke at a meeting held in the area on Friday 15 February with Maitland police station commander Colonel Sizwe Mpindwa and Ward 56 councillor Helen Jacobs.

He said this was seen as a personal grudge and he was doing nothing wrong.

“All these things I am accused of I had never done. I am not involved with anyone who deals with criminal activities.”

Colonel Mpindwa said everyone has the freedom of movement as long as they do not do anything against the law.

“We cannot refuse anyone entry into a public area, it is against the law. As long as these people do not do anything illegal,” Mpindwa said.

He said the police cannot stop people from drinking alcohol in their yards.

Mpindwa further said people were free to report crime.

Neighbours also claimed that a truck belonging to one of the two houses obstructed traffic as it parked on the street.

When People’s Post went to the area twice, the truck was parked in the yard and did not show any sign of obstructing traffic.

Jacobs said the City had implemented by-laws concerning parking of vehicles and obstructing of traffic.

She said it was an offence to obstruct traffic.

She further urged communities to report any concerns so that they can be sorted swiftly.

*Names changed to protect the people involved

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