Community fights crime

2018-05-29 06:00
A member of the community addresses authorities about crime in Maitland.PHOTO: LUVUYO MJEKULA

A member of the community addresses authorities about crime in Maitland.PHOTO: LUVUYO MJEKULA

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Community involvement is the only way crime can be overcome in Maitland and surroundings.

This was the consensus at a gathering of authorities and some members of the community to discuss crime concerns and related matters at the local church in Coronation Street on Thursday 24 May.

The Community Policing Forum (CPF), the police, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement, traffic and the local improvement district all attended. “We need community involvement. Community members must take ownership of the corner where these criminals sit. Go and stay there for an hour and you will see the difference,” police spokesperson, Captain Johannes Solomons urged.

“Get a grip of your children please,” exclaimed one resident.

He criticised parents for failing to discipline their children at home. Referring to concerns about drug dealing in the area, the resident asked, rhetorically: “Who buys the drugs?” He called on parents to address social problems at home. “Where are parents when five children rip packets of chips in a spaza shop?”

Another participant added: “Parents are getting weak, they are failing
their children.”

CPF chairperson Charnell Southgate says crime challenges in the area – which includes Maitland, Brooklyn, Garden Village and Koeberg – vary from less serious incidents, such as pubs opening until late, leading to chaos and congestion, to serious ones including drug dealing, robberies and fatal road accidents.

Southgate says a number of derelict houses belonging to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) “have become drug dens”. Some of them have been vandalised, making it easy for criminals to use them as hiding places for stolen goods, she adds. The locals have tried getting answers from Prasa, to no avail, says Southgate.

When People’s Post attempted to contact the rail agency in connection with a separate but similar complaint, a senior official referred questions to the regional manager who had not responded by the time of going to press.

The CPF praised the police for their efforts in fighting crime.

Solomons told the gathering that a serious concern is the community crossing the railway line at the local station, as they are at risk of falling victim to robbers or getting injured. He warned residents to avoid using the railway crossing as a short cut. A young woman lost her life after she was hit by a train last Thursday morning, says Solomons. He lists business robbery as a big problem in Maitland while housebreaking poses a serious challenge in Brooklyn.The team urges members of the community to report incidents of crime.V Call Maitland police on 021 506 9400 or Crime Stop on 0800 10111.

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