A new trend has been noticed the past few months – a spate of crimes in the Lansdowne policing precinct during the day, especially on weekdays.
This was confirmed by Rafique Foflonker, chairperson of the Community Police Forum (CPF), at a meeting last week Tuesday. Foflonker added that this trend “is even more difficult to monitor efficiently”.
“This is because people are at work during the day. Criminals have become more brazen, but if residents can be more involved and lend support to their neighbourhood watches, we will see a change in these trends,” Foflonker said.
He added the CPF had been working well with police and neighbourhood watches in the area.
Another issue that has reared its head is the increase in prostitution along Lansdowne Road.
“In the space of two weeks this has been a very hot topic that needs to be addressed.
“However, along with police we are looking at a way to address this as a social crime. We do not look at prostitutes as bad people, but we must formulate a plan going forward to assist these people practising prostitution in our area. We are asking for the support and guidance of any organisation or individuals who have experience in addressing these kinds of issues so we may help them,” he said.
Foflonker said other noteworthy crimes in the area included altercations that turned fatal at two popular nightclubs in the Ottery industrial area.
“We closed down two nightclubs in the Ottery industrial area that are notorious for underage drinking and crime concerns. In the industrial area, four murders took place and it all occurred at the night clubs,” he said.
Foflonker pleaded with residents to help the CPF, police and neighbourhood watches in reporting issues, especially at night clubs.
“We have embarked on joint operations and they have been successful. However, we are asking residents to report if they witness underage drinking. The more complaints received, the better,” he said.
Foflonker added that in light of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, residents should be aware that the crime issues were not the only issues that received attention from the police and neighbourhood watches.
“We also attend to domestic issues in our area. People should not be afraid to reach out to these structures, especially the victim support room at the Lansdowne police station for assistance and support.”
He adds that bullying at schools in the area had also become a major concern.
“We had an incident where an 18-year-old boy bullied a 16-year-old peer at his school. To get back at the bully, the 16-year-old boy and a friend stabbed the 18-year-old bully. Both 16-year-old boys who took revenge were apprehended,” he said.
Foflonker encouraged parents “to keep [their children] close”.