Station has issues

2016-01-26 06:00
Litter and other debris are scattered near one of the abandoned buildings at the Lansdowne station.  PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

Litter and other debris are scattered near one of the abandoned buildings at the Lansdowne station. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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Safety concerns and litter prompted a walk-about in the Lansdowne station area on Wednesday morning last week.

This and the debris littered all over the station premises were the issues highlighted to law enforcement agencies to help in curbing crime in the area.

The site visit took place with Robbie Roberts, the director of law enforcement in the City of Cape Town, Lansdowne police, residents’ associations, neighbourhood watches and the local ward councillor.

What worries residents and commuters as well is the informal trading, drug trade and crime that happens around the station.

Robberts was taken on a tour around the station, where two buildings have been left abandoned and vagrants have been occupying space.

Robberts says he plans to work with all the roleplayers in addressing these issues.

“If we look at the displaced people, they are human too and we have to offer them alternatives.

“From my side I will be sending out the law enforcement chief for this area to deal with these issues. I would also want all our different roleplayers to join in and take hands, because this is not just a law enforcement issue,” he says.

He adds that proper profiling by the local police station should also help.

“If we have profiles of people living around the station area then we have information on who is wanted and who isn’t. If we know they are not linked to any criminal activities we won’t bother them. Then we know that this has been done and it’s clear and clean,” Robberts says.

Drug dealingRafique Foflonker, chairperson of the Lansdowne community police forum (CPF), says drug dealing in the area has been of huge concern: “People who come here every day who do not use drugs have been asked if they want to buy drugs and that is obviously not something you want to be faced with. Commuters are also accosted daily with crime incidents happening around the area and these issues need to be addressed.”

He adds that any response by a department to help fight crime is “always appreciated”.

“Any efforts by our law enforcement agencies to curb crime is always a step in the right direction. However, we feel that the approach we are taking is that of a very reactionary nature instead of precautionary,” he says.

Foflonker says they will be investigating ways to use the abandoned building for more better purposes.
“People are using these buildings to live and sleep in. It has also been rumoured that these buildings have been used for illicit activities and we have also come across objects that resemble drug paraphernalia.
“If we get to use these buildings more constructively, it will take care of the issue of displaced people using the building as refuge which further attracts crime to the area,” he says.

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