Fish­er­men fear beach crim­i­nals

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - CARYN DOL­LEY

AN­GLERS on the Strand­fontein coast­line say they are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly fear­ful be­cause of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity along the no­to­ri­ous stretch.

Po­lice have also warned that the stretch is not safe.

When a group of fish­er­men met at Strand­fontein Pav­il­ion to dis­cuss the crime prob­lem re­cently, Keith Blake, a re­tired po­lice­man from Ot­tery who has been fish­ing there for eight years, said about 15 men hadap­proached fish­er­men on the beach.

“You sud­denly just heard peo­ple grab­bing their stuff and leav­ing the area… The fish­er­man are an­gry about this,” he said.

Blake was try­ing to spread the mes­sage that an­glers should not op­er­ate alone in the area.

“The rob­bers go af­ter the rods, any­thing,” he said. “There are also peo­ple we think are poach­ers.” On the Face­book group Cape Town Rock & Surf Fish­ing, the meet­ing was re­ferred to as fol­lows: “There’s a large num­ber of fish­er­men that have been robbed and killed on our coasts, but there are also a larger group of an­glers that would like to take a stand. We have de­cided to show our anger to these low lifes and have a mass meet­ing.”

Po­lice spokesman Cap­tain Fred­er­ick van Wyk said of­fi­cers were aware of the sit­u­a­tion, and that fish­er­men’s safety fears were valid.

caryn.dol­ley@inl.co.za

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