Athlone police urged to increase patrols

A Silvertown resident says the trees and a small hill between Klipfontein Road and Jakes Gerwel Drive are being used by robbers who hide behind it, and target people getting off the bus at night.

A Silvertown woman has appealed for visible policing after becoming the victim of an attempted armed robbery, as she was making her way home from the bus stop in Jakes Gerwel Drive.

Riyana Davids said she works different shifts and during the times when she works a later shift, she takes a bus from Century City, which passes Jakes Gerwel around 10pm.

She added that her father usually waits for her near the bus stop when she works late, and on Sunday March 19, she and her father were accosted by two men while walking home. One of them was armed with a firearm.

“It takes about five minutes to walk from the bus stop to our home, but it is so dangerous, as the robbers hide behind trees and a small hill on a piece of vacant land on the corner of Jakes Gerwel Drive and Klipfontein Road,” she said.

“That night, I saw these two guys, and I knew they were up to no good. I told my dad something isn’t right. Before we knew it, one of the men stood behind me and another held a gun on my side. They demanded money. I told them I don’t have any money, and because I was so traumatised, I told them they could take my bag.

“I only had some cards in my bag, and they wanted cash, so they didn’t take it. My dad also told them we have no money. They let us go because we had no cash. I was so traumatised, I ran home. They also ran away.

“On Thursday March 23, I again worked late, and we saw three of them this time. My father and I decided to walk a much longer distance to get home, just to avoid them. The Thursday before this, they also cornered my dad. And up until now, I have not seen any police patrols in that vicinity.”

Ms Davids said she now fears coming home every time she works a late shift.

On Friday March 24, she went to Athlone SAPS to ask for patrols, as she had since learnt that some of her friends had also fallen victim to these robbers.

“I can’t always get to the police station, because of my work commitments. All I want is for patrols to be stepped up. I got the fright of my life, and now I am always jittery and paranoid.

“These days, they not only rob you, they hurt you as well. I have a four-year-old son that I
must care for,” Ms Alexander added.

Athlone SAPS spokeswoman, Sergeant Zita Norman, said they do realise that there are hot spot areas, and urged the community to report incidents like these at the police station.

She added that people being targeted at bus stops or railway stations, could be the work of syndicates.

”Some people are targeted, as they wait at the bus stops early in the morning. Even school children are being targeted.

“We would like to encourage others to come forward, so that we can step up our patrols in hot spots. We must also be each others’ carers. Those who use public transport, must walk together, or if possible, they can carpool.

“I must also point out that we do have a trauma room at the police station, and we have partnerships with other service providers, like Dr Abdurahman Community Health Centre. So if people need psychological support, for example, we are there to help,” Sergeant Norman said.