The Gleemoor Civic Association held an urgent meeting to address what it says is a spike in crime in the area, with theft and armed robberies being reported almost daily.
The meeting, held at Ned Doman High School on Thursday April 25, drew a large number of residents, which, according to resident Jeff Paulse, is an indication of how much crime has affected them.
The civic association invited representatives of the City of Cape Town, including JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security and social services; Paul Oliver, the assistant chief for traffic services; Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for health and community services; as well as ward councillors Rashid Adams and Magadien Davids.
Reyaha Abrahams, the secretary of the Gleemoor Civic Association, said her organisation had a WhatsApp group for residents, and “people post on a daily basis about being victims of crime”.
Crimes that are common in the area include armed robberies, theft, and burglaries, according to Ms Abrahams.
Another concern for residents is what they describe as a lack of service from Athlone SAPS.
“The police station is less than two minutes away, but when one reports a crime, there is either no response, or they only respond many hours later. Just a few weeks ago, it took SAPS three hours to respond to an armed robbery, which occurred at one of our businesses. The lack of service from SAPS needs urgent attention. We need a bigger police presence in the area — in fact, we hardly ever have police presence,” Ms Abrahams said.
She added that she had encountered people walking with bins in the area, looking for scrap.
“These bins are probably stolen,” Ms Abrahams said.
Resident Keith Darvel said he had been affected by crime, but he believed that instead of complaining about it, one had to come up with solutions.
“Our response to the problem is to revitalise the neighbourhood watch again. There are so many young people prepared to come on board. The challenge we have is that we want to be part of the solution, but there is so much red tape involved. The ball rolls slowly. We need to get SAPS on board,” he said.
Mr Darvel said that those interested in being part of the neighbourhood watch, had already gone through police screening, but the police had yet to give the green light for the process to continue.
“After SAPS does its screening process, then the City of Cape Town and the Department of Community Safety come in. The City and the department do the training. Once we have that done, then we can start patrolling.
“We are so excited to start this — to be part of revitalising the neighbourhood watch — because our children must feel safe to play in the street. However, we need SAPS to come on board,” Mr Darvel said.
Sergeant Zita Norman, Athlone SAPS spokesperson, said if Mr Darvel and his team had done all their paperwork and fingerprints, and were yet to hear from the station, then he was welcome to make an appointment with the station commander to discuss the delay.
“We will never reject people who are willing to help us in the fight against crime,” she said.
Sergeant Norman said each sector had a vehicle placed there, and if residents were unhappy with the service delivery, they could contact the station’s management team, and if they find they were still not happy, thye could complain to the provincial office.
The Athlone SAPS management are:
Station commander, Colonel Mark Adonis: 082 778 6634
Head of visible policing and crime prevention, Lieutenant Colonel Clive Nicholos: 082 378 9176
Crime intelligence, Captain Adrian Andries: 079 894 1420
Head of detective services, Colonel Alton Larry: 079 880 9871