In a bid to rid the streets of narcotics and crime, Strandfontein safety volunteers have joined hands with members of other safety structures to conduct joint operations to ride the community of crime. Over the past weekend of Friday 13 and Saturday 14 March, the Strandfontein police, neighbourhood watch, community policing forum (CPF), block watch and law enforcement participated in a roadblock and safety patrol which resulted in mass drug confiscations and arrests. What is of most concern to CPF chair Sandy Schuter Flowers is the increase in drug activity.The drugs frequently confiscated from peddlers and users in the area include mandrax, tik, unga, dagga and ecstasy. “Often and many times we come across minors drinking lean,” says Schuter Flowers. “The children mix gas cooldrinks with cough medicine containing codeine all of which has serious side effects.” Schuter Flowers says there is often a push back and denial from residents.“We encourage families to stop being in denial, when there is a known substance abuser in the home. Help break the cycle of substance abuse by reaching out to rehabilitation facilities for help,” she says.The initiatives to clean up the streets started with foot patrols into the informal settlement, lead by WO Noxolo Rulwe in conjunction with law enforcement area south officers, CPF and neighbourhood watch members. Schuter Flowers shares feedback: “Since Rulwe started at Strandfontein police, we have seen a major impact. Her activity and involvement within the community has paid off positively.” Residents had raised their concerns with her regarding activities in the area, especially the drug peddling. It was then that the partnership began to see an end to the drug trade. “Several arrests have been made and majority of it were drug arrests. We have seen the high demand for drugs, looking at the amount of drug arrests made and the type of drugs being confiscated, it’s evident that there is a demand, which means we have many drug users in Strandfontein. We encourage residents to start educating themselves on the signs of substance abuse so that they are able to identify if they have a loved one that is possibly addicted,” she says.“To start with early intervention by reaching out for help, reaching out to rehabilitation facilities before the substance abuser completely destroy their lives. We finding that there are many domestic violence related cases within the home, due to substance abuse. It’s is extremely difficult to curb the ongoing drug trade when there is a demand for the supplies.”Schuter Flowers is calling on residents to take a stand.“It’s time for residents of Strandfontein to start reporting this drug trade happening, so that search warrants can be obtained and those houses can be raided. Stop reporting these things on WhatsApp groups, none of that information gets relayed to police, instead they are screengrabbed and sent viral, exposing residents which can become dangerous. We encourage residents to refrain from exposing themselves this way and to rather report this drug and gang activity to police on 08600 10111 or send their tip offs via SMS, anonymously to 32211.”She continued by thanking the law enforcement officers, police, CPF and active patrollers in Strandfontein for their commitment, dedication and passion in trying to keep Strandfontein safe.To report suspicious behaviour or crime, call Crime Stop on 0860 010 111.