Silvertown’s neighbourhood watch members and residents marched through the area on Sunday, calling for an end to drugs and crime there.
Silvertown Neighbourhood Watch secretary Nasira Clarke led the march of about 30 people on Sunday October 24. She said that it was time for the community to take a stand against drug houses and shebeens.
More and more children and adults in the community were falling prey to substance abuse, and children were being drawn in a cycle of drugs, crime and gangsterism, she warned.
“We say no to robberies, and drugs in our communities. We have a few drug houses in our area and the crime in our area has been increasing. We need to stand together so that we can get rid of this. Our elderly and kids are being robbed daily.”
Dagga and tik were the most commonly abused drugs in the area, and better policing was needed to tackle the problem, said resident Reginald Anthony.
“Compared to 40 years ago, when I moved into the area, it is very bad,” he said. “The area has really changed, and we are taking a stand against all of these issues today. We have a police station that is working very hard and trying their best, but they are also under-resourced.”
Another resident, Mymona Adams, said there had been a recent spate of car-battery thefts, thieves were jumping over walls to break into people’s homes and illegal dumping was on the rise.
“There has been a guy that has been robbing young children at the shops, stealing batteries, and wiring, robbing children in the road, but they haven’t been able to catch him yet,” she said.
“Last week a 10-year-old child was robbed in the road. We want to start a street committee so that we can get to the bottom of these issues.”
There had been no increase in drug use and robberies in the area in the past few months, said Athlone police spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman.