We’ll deal with crim­i­nals our­selves, threaten res­i­dents

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SAKHILE NDLAZI

RES­I­DENTS of Faerie Glen in Pre­to­ria east have threat­ened to take mat­ters into their own hands to deal with an in­crease in lev­els of crime in the area if the po­lice did not in­ter­vene.

They said the com­mu­nity was be­ing held hostage by crim­i­nals af­ter a surge in house­break­ings and mug­gings over the past few months.

Re­ports of crime from the sub­urb and the nearby Faerie Glen Na­ture Re­serve have emerged, with the first crime in­side the re­serve tak­ing place two weeks ago af­ter a 10-year record of safety and se­cu­rity.

A fe­male trail run­ner was at­tacked as she ran along the trails in the re­serve and all of her gear, in­clud­ing her shoes, cell­phone, hy­dra­tion back­pack and sun­glasses were taken.

Warn­ings were also posted on so­cial me­dia, urg­ing trail run­ners to be cau­tious and not to ex­er­cise on their own, as crim­i­nals, of­ten wield­ing knives and wear­ing bal­a­clavas, were on the prowl.

They are said to gain en­try into the na­ture re­serve through At­ter­bury Bridge and use the Man­i­toba Bridge to ac­cess the rest of the re­serve and homes along the pe­riph­ery.

Homes be­ing hit are those sit­u­ated on the east­ern side and last week, res­i­dents said they were fed up with what they per­ceived as a lack of po­lice ac­tion.

“We are go­ing to be us­ing max­i­mum force to pro­tect our­selves from these thugs. Ex­treme sit­u­a­tions re­quire ex­treme mea­sures,” said a res­i­dent, who lives op­po­site the na­ture re­serve on Glen­wood Street.

He said on two oc­ca­sions, he had spot­ted bur­glars in his yard. “They have stolen my hosepipe and rake,” he said.

Ke­fentse Mom­pei, who also lives ad­ja­cent to the re­serve, said crim­i­nals were be­com­ing ar­ro­gant and do­ing as they pleased. She added that her clothes were stolen off her wash­ing line.

She said the Faerie Glen Na­ture Re­serve op­po­site her res­i­den­tial com­plex pro­vided a hid­ing place for crim­i­nals.

“What is sad is that a res­i­dent will end up shoot­ing and killing the per­pe­tra­tors and they will be jailed for pro­tect­ing their fam­ily,” said Mom­pei.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers said they were fed up and wanted a pub­lic meet­ing with po­lice as soon as pos­si­ble to dis­cuss the set­ting-up of foot pa­trols.

Other res­i­dents said that de­spite a po­lice sta­tion be­ing in close prox­im­ity to their homes, they no longer felt safe.

Res­i­dent Mar­alise Louw said they wanted to call on all the men in the com­mu­nity to come out and as­sist peo­ple go­ing to work to pro­tect them from be­ing at­tacked.

“And also for men to go to the gates of the schools to make sure that the chil­dren go­ing to school do so safely,” she said.

The chair­per­son of the Friends of the Faerie Glen Na­ture Re­serve, Louise Kritzinger, said the fences along Jan­uary Masilela, Glen­wood and Man­i­toba roads all needed main­te­nance.

She added that the makeshift fence un­der the At­ter­bury Bridge, which was made of thin wooden poles, needed to be re­in­forced prop­erly to keep crim­i­nals out.

A large bush, sit­u­ated a stone’s throw away from the At­ter­bury Bridge, is where the crim­i­nals lived, The Star was told.

“We are go­ing to sug­gest that the metro po­lice re­move the va­grants,” Kritzinger said.

The re­serve was fenced off over a pe­riod of about five years, from 2002, said Kritzinger.

Res­i­dents blamed the in­crease in crime in the area on the de­vel­op­ment on the north­ern side of the re­serve, ad­ja­cent to Lyn­nwood Road. They said builders and job seek­ers had flooded to the area, lead­ing to squat­ting on the moun­tain.

Ac­cord­ing to Kritzinger, af­ter the de­vel­op­ments were fin­ished, some peo­ple con­tin­ued to live in the bushes, but they were re­moved from the re­serve by mounted po­lice pa­trols in 2006 and 2007.

Coun­cil­lor Ernst Botha of Ward 44 said he had been in con­stant con­tact with Lieu­tenant-Colonel Kervin Solomon of the Gars­fontein Po­lice, re­quest­ing in­ter­ven­tion. A meet­ing was yet to be set-up, he said.

“Faerie Glen Na­ture Re­serve has re­cently be­come a hotspot for crim­i­nal el­e­ments; my­self and Coun­cil­lor Pi­eter van Heer­den from Ward 46, ad­ja­cent to Ward 44, have col­lec­tively been in dis­cus­sions with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers to try to curb crime in the area,” said Botha.

He added that they have also taken it to the top struc­tures within the City of Tsh­wane, in­clud­ing the de­part­ments of Com­mu­nity Safety, Emer­gency Ser­vices and the chair­per­son of Com­mu­nity Safety.

The City and po­lice had not re­sponded on the crime rates by late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

We are go­ing to be us­ing max­i­mum force to pro­tect our­selves

KEEP ’EM OUT: Thomas Sch­midt and Ralph Enslin re­pair a pal­isade fence in Jan­uary Masilela Av­enue in Faerie Glen, Tsh­wane.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.