Marching against crime

2017-04-25 06:00

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Hangberg residents got together to voice their concerns about the escalating crime in their area through a march last Saturday.

The march organised by Hangberg Education Development Movement was attended by about 100 people who said crime in the area is out of control and drug dealings are just making it worse. Their concern was that they need more police visibility and a lot still needs to be done to reduce crime in the area.

Pastor Philip Frans, chairperson of Hangberg Education Development Movement say they are aware of the child killings, the drug dealings and the fights in the area and the march was to bring awareness and help prevent crime.

“Our crime has reached unprecedented levels and puts the community at a serious risk due to substance abuse, gangsterism, illegal firearms and illegal activities. People are running around with illegal fire arms on a regular bases. Our children are being killed and there is so much drug dealings in the open. There are a lot of illegal activities that are affecting our areas. We are worried that if nothing is done it will soon get out of hand and this march is aimed at bring awareness to the area and for the people to know what is affecting us,” he says.

Frans adds that crime in Hangberg schools is also a big concern. “Our children are suffering and, as young as eight years old, are doing drugs. It’s out of control and it spills over to high schools. It’s said that the drug dealers are selling (drugs) like sweets in our streets. No one is even ashamed and that is destroying us it must come to a stop.”

Roscoe Jacobs, secretary of Hout Bay Civic Association (HBCA) says if people want a safer community they need to become active citizens. “Bad things happen when good people do nothing. A task team needs to be set up to address the socio-economic issues perpetuating the culture of violence and this needs all three spheres of government as policing alone won’t fight crime, drugs and gang culture. We need the City of Cape Town to fulfil their mandate of building our local economy so people don’t need to involve themselves in the negative economy.”

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services also attended the march and outlined several efforts by the City to help in the ­area.

“The City has done operations relating to gang and drug activity in Hangberg and we invited residents to forward information about such activity for the Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team (GDTT) to target. Information started coming in by that very evening and I relayed info to GDTT who are following up with informants and will pursue search warrants to raid suspects,” he says.
Smith adds that the City is preparing to refurbish the vandalised public toilet at the public transport interchange for the neighbourhood watch (NHW) to use as a base station.

“The City is already doing more NHW training and resourcing than any other city and Hangberg NHW recently received equipment. We have deployed Law Enforcement, Metro Police Department and Traffic as often as possible and police even commented that Hout Bay has in the last year seen much more of the City resources than before – in fact police also commented that overall crime had reduced by 20% in Hout Bay over last year.

“The City has again asked for community tip-offs on illegal drugs and guns and gang activity promising that the information will be handled six-hour exposing the source. We are happy to meet with the community. I meet with communities every day until all hours and my door is always open for Pastor Frans and his community members.”

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