Mugging of pupils is ‘out of hand’

2016-05-03 06:00
Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch is urging people who use Ravel Street to be extra vigilant fter incidents of crime .                                      PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch is urging people who use Ravel Street to be extra vigilant fter incidents of crime . PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch is urging pupils and residents to be vigilant on Ravel Street in Steenberg.

The neighbourhood watch says the street has been a cause of concern as pupils going to school are being robbed. They insist the muggings are “getting out of hand”.

It is alleged that people loiter around on the corner of Military Road and Ravel Street, waiting for pupils to pass before robbing them.

It has been alleged the suspects are those who sell scrap material at a nearby scrap yard.

Over the past few weeks police have been patrolling the area. However, when there is a lull in patrols, criminals again target school pupils’s cellphones and money, the community says.

Beatrice Twigg, chairperson for the Sharedon Neighbourhood Watch, says with winter coming the robberies are expected to escalate.

“Our children are followed down the road as they walk to school. Because the road is a downslope nobody can see what is really happening further down and that’s when the bad elements (criminals) take advantage,” she says.

The pupils are allegedly followed down the road because criminals know they can’t be seen, she says.

“We are warning people who use that road to be very careful. It’s very difficult to manage this area because it’s not our area, but once in a while we do patrols to keep the children safe as we will be helping them from the pedestrian crossing. Now, with winter coming, it will be dark very early and in the morning it’s still very dark. People must be vigilant.”

Twigg says at times children are followed into the open field where they are robbed just behind Steenberg High School.

“Our kids are not safe. Avoid using the short-cut through the field. We want police to be visible all the time, but they can’t. Now and again they come, which makes children feel a little safer.

“We also try to help whenever we can. People on that road have asked us to patrol their area, but we can’t. We have our own big area to manage. We told them they have to start their own neighbourhood watch. We try patrol here as there are kids from our area as well. For now we can just ask people that use the road to be careful, don’t use cellphones and stay away from the road – they (the robbers) are very destructive.”


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