Drugs on the street

2017-10-31 06:00
The vandalism of this unoccupied building at the corner of Langham Road and Highclere Street in Maitland is suspectedly due to criminal elements that are spreading in the community. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

The vandalism of this unoccupied building at the corner of Langham Road and Highclere Street in Maitland is suspectedly due to criminal elements that are spreading in the community. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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The rise in criminal elements and threats posed to residents in reportedly problematic areas of Maitland are becoming ­concerns.

Camden, Langham, Highclere and Voortrekker roads have reportedly been invaded by drug deals, prostitution and break-ins.

These complaints add to the recent reports of similar incidents in Coronation Road.

It is reported that the problems are spreading and getting out of control.

A building in Langham Road that has been unoccupied for months is apparently being vandalised and used for drug deals.

While People’s Post visited the building, a man was seen jumping over the fence and entering the building.

It is not clear what is taking place inside the building. All that can be seen from the outside is the vandalised roof and fence, which was believed to have been forced open to gain entry to the premises.

The building was reportedly recently sold. The new owner was supposed to demolish it, but over the past months nothing has taken place.

Close to the building on the corner of Langham and Highclere roads cars were seen pulling over and what seemed to be quick exchanges between the motorists and a man carrying a backpack.

Another man identified as a drug dealer in the area was also spotted walking down Highclere Road.

Residents say the tavern on the corner of Highclere and Voortrekker roads is a lure for criminal ­activities.

They claim the tavern is a favourite spot for prostitutes. Tavern visitors urinate in the street, carelessly throwing away bottles and used condoms, they say.

This issue was also reported by a resident of Camden Road, Mariah da Silver, who says: “People walk late at night, urinate in the road and have entered my house. People also have sex in public.”

She claims two residents of the street are drug dealers, “which has attracted gangsters from other areas and resulted in robberies. There has been two murders that I know of and several injuries due to gang violence”.

Graham Daniels, secretary of the Maitland Community Policing Forum, confirms the problems of Camden Road and says they are being ­addressed.

He says, however, taverns in the area have a big influence and make it difficult to fight criminal elements.

Louis Solomons, Maitland police spokesperson, says they are doing the best they can to fight crime in the area.

He also blames the taverns, saying if the liquor board could monitor them and make sure its rules are followed there could be a slight difference.

He says though the police do make arrests it is difficult to completely eradicate crime in the community because “these people keep coming, and while arresting the others, some are being released from jail”.

“Until we have other stakeholders like the liquor board partaking in monitoring the use of licences and have community members reporting these matters, we will not be able to achieve drastic results. As police we will continue offering our services and being visible,” says Solomons.

He says police are aware of the building and have been in contact with the owner, who told them about his plans for developing the site.

He says the building is expected to be demolished once the application process has been finalised.


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