The Steenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF) is urging residents to stop using a shortcut between Crestway High School and 10th Avenue, as this may make them easy targets for criminals.
CPF chairperson Gavin Walbrugh says they have had several complaints about people being robbed and they are following on the matter. Walbrugh recommends people avoid the route.
Many residents use the shortcut while on their way to day hospital or work.
“We have seen people walk there with cellphones in hand and by doing this there are putting themselves on the spot.
“There are sporadic robberies that happen there and we try to be visible but it is not always possible. Police vans are shared and they have to be all over. Also they are not for off-road so at times it becomes difficult. We are urging people not to walk on there. The area is bushy and criminals are lurking there waiting for the next victim,” he says.
Residents have also noticed the increase in robberies.
Samantha Jansen has warned pedestrians not to use the quiet route. “Please don’t cross the field between Crestway High and Tenth Avenue when it’s quiet, like on Saturday afternoons, Sunday afternoons or evenings. There has been a huge increase in daily robberies on that field – openly and with firearms!
“One Sunday afternoon one guy robbed and stabbed another in full view of passers-by. People must be careful and it’s just getting worse each day,” she says.
Rebbecca Stuurman says a friend was robbed of her handbag and cellphone. “She was coming from the hospital side and she was robbed there. At times it becomes very quiet and criminals take chances. People must be careful. As long people continue to walk there criminals will always use the opportunity to rob. It’s not safe at all,” she says.
It is advised that pedestrians take the route via Retreat Road or Concert Boulevard so that they don’t become victims of crime.
Walbrugh says: “Though the road might be long and boring it is the safer option. We can’t police there all the time. The police are also needed in other areas, and to respond to other crimes, so having them there all the time is not possible. Robberies are happening in the early hours of the morning and in the afternoon when the section is quiet. Our advice to people is rather to stay away from there,” he says
Walbrugh says the police and the ward councillor have been informed.