Locals tackle vagrants

One of the photos taken by members of the Kenilworth Village Residents and Businesses Association during random patrols.
One of the photos taken by members of the Kenilworth Village Residents and Businesses Association during random patrols.

Kenilworth residents and business people are busy establishing their own special ratings area (SRA) to tackle crime and vagrancy.

People’s Post recently reported on a number of incidents involving vagrants, robberies and housebreakings (“Shortcut to strife”, 11 July and “Vagrants at the door”, 25 July).

The most problematic areas were then identified as Wetton and Wilderness roads and Harfield. This has made the residents more concerned and they are trying to get the City of Cape Town to approve their SRA application. All affected members are expected to sign the proposal by the end of September and the implementation would be effective in July next year.

Concerned community member John Matthews says the Kenilworth Village Residents and Businesses Association (KVRBA) has been in contact with the City’s Law Enforcement and the police. “It is common cause that both entities are underresourced and, with the enormity of the problem, are unable to effectively deal with the problems. In view of this, the KVRBA has taken up the challenge to form an SRA for Kenilworth Village and surrounding residents,” he says.

He explains their concerns include drug and alcohol abuse, allegedly by the “so-called car guards who have been seen drinking alcohol in public”. “Recently Kenilworth had a case of car jamming, which resulted in the perpetrators, who were car guards, being traced and arrested.” The culprits were found with the help of a CCTV camera.

“Business owners are reporting a downturn in business as people visiting the area are beginning to rate Kenilworth as a high-risk area and will not revisit the area,” adds Matthews.

He says a steering committee that is comprises a representational mix of residents and business owners or managers has already been registered with the City council. He also says the area the SRA would cover has been proposed and will be submitted to the City council.

Claremont police spokesperson Sergeant Lindile Dubeni says it would be a good idea to have community members actively involved in fighting crime. He also advised them to communicate their issues with the station commander. The City of Cape Town have not responded to the query at the time of going to print.

Johan Van der Merwe, Mayco member for finance, says the City has been approached by a representative from the Kenilworth Village Residents and Business Association regarding the establishment of a City Improvement District in the area. He says the process can take up to 18 months, meaning the targeted deadline of July 2018 might not be met as he say the process has not yet started. 

Van der Merwe explains that: “This won’t be possible as the process can take up to 18 months and even if majority support is obtained, it may not be established depending on the objections.

"CIDs or SRAs not only provide additional security for the public space, but also ensure that the specific area complies with cleansing, greening and social responsibility matters,” he says.

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