Lavender Hill residents urged to root out gangsters

2016-03-23 19:01
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Cape Town – Residents of crime-ridden Lavender Hill in Cape Town were on Wednesday urged to root out the gangsters in their midst.

Police held an imbizo in an open field in the area, where hundreds of residents were assured that they had their best interests at heart.

The gathering was held in a marquee with metal detectors at the entrances, and surrounded by police in passenger vehicles, vans, and Nyalas.

Women with babies strapped to their backs milled around as armed policemen and women patrolled the area.

The outreach programme was attended by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, his deputy Maggie Sotyu, acting police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane, and provincial and divisional commissioners.

Church leaders, children in school uniform and other residents were urged to actively participate in rooting out crime.

Phahlane called on the residents to become whistleblowers, as they knew where the gang leaders lived. He discouraged them from buying stolen items.

"Some just see a bargain. But you don't know what happened when the items were being stolen. Someone could have lost their life or someone could have been raped."

The fight against crime would not be won without full community participation, he said.

A Community Policing Forum member called on the residents to take back the streets as they outnumbered the gang leaders.

"Tell the drug lords we have had enough. Let the police, the government, repossess their cars and houses."

Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato asked why residents were giving refuge to and refusing to speak out against criminals.

Residents cheered as police vowed to be more "present" in the area.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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