Officers of Grassy Park Police Station and members of the Grassy Park Community Policing Forum (CPF) are on their feet together to ensure a safer environment for children walking to school. Reports have been received of attempted kidnapping of children and of suspicious people wandering around the area. According to a statement by the CPF’s Philip Bam, a learner was almost kidnapped on her way to school two weeks ago, and was injured while fighting off the kidnappers. The girl’s cellphone was stolen after she was stabbed with a knife. Commuters on their way to taxis or buses are also in danger of falling prey to criminals lurking around taxi ranks and bus stops. Last week, a woman who works in the area was sexually assaulted after she got into a vehicle which appeared to her to be a minibus taxi, he says. “Community members are requested to be alert. When taking a taxi, make sure it is a registered taxi with the proper taxi association markings. Consider a vehicle that might look like a taxi and has all windows black tinted as dangerous and avoid getting into vehicles alone. “Schoolchildren should walk in groups. Parents should make arrangements to ensure that their children can reach school safely.”Local neighbourhood watches are also embarking on a school watch programme to create more visibility around schools. “We will not allow this violence against women and children to continue. We believe that our communities must now be more vigilant and take preventative measures. It is a matter of concern that some people make false reports which trigger deployment of resources and waste valuable time which could be spent on crime prevention. People making false reports are liable to be prosecuted,” he adds. Local resident Elenna Bosman says the community has become a major crime zone since she moved into the area 15 years ago. “Many of my family members do not visit in this area because of past experience. I sometimes fear for my own safety when walking with my kids in this community. These thieves and gangsters need to be eliminated as soon as possible, because we are sick and tired of crimes affecting not only adults but children too. I hope those in charge of seeing to our safety can step up and do what is promised from them for years. We have had more than enough,” she adds. V Anyone with information on crime should report it to the Grassy Park police on 021 700 3940. The CPF can also be contacted through its spokesperson on 083 658 3885.