Elsies, Bishop Lavis cut down on crime

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SOYISO MALITI

THE CITY’S law en­force­ment of­fi­cials have promised a con­tin­u­ous crack­down on crime in Elsies River and Bishop Lavis.

There is a re­newed fo­cus on these ar­eas fol­low­ing the killings of 15 peo­ple in the last three weeks.

The Week­end Ar­gus joined metro po­lice of­fi­cers, mem­bers of the SAPS as well as the law en­force­ment’s so­cial hous­ing unit on a blitz op­er­a­tion on Thurs­day night.

Metro po­lice of­fi­cer Natasha Ja­maar who’s been in the service for 10 years and was in the na­tional po­lice force for another 10 be­fore that, led the op­er­a­tion, along with Mayco mem­ber for safety and security JP Smith.

Ja­maar said she and her team did not “fear or favour any crim­i­nals” in the area.

The op­er­a­tion in­cluded more than 15 ran­dom stop-and­frisks.

This par­tic­u­lar op­er­a­tion was con­ducted by the di­rec­torate’s so­cial hous­ing unit, which was ac­com­pa­nied by five re­porters, in­clud­ing the Week­end Ar­gus, on a cold Thurs­day night.

Our first stop was Mil­ner Court in Leons­dale, a sec­tion of Elsies River con­sid­ered by many to be the most dan­ger­ous.

There po­lice came across a tik lolly and dagga in a rental-stock unit where a woman was liv­ing with her chil­dren and a dog.

Ja­maar is­sued her with a fine and warned her that dogs and drugs were not al­lowed.

“We will file a re­port to the City, de­tail­ing what we’ve found here,” Ja,aar said.

“The fam­ily has bro­ken two rules.” She added that a de­ci­sion on whether to evict the fam­ily would be made in due course.

As the team ex­ited the flat, Smith qui­etly snuck into a marked ve­hi­cle to take a phone call from a lo­cal in­for­mant who alerted him to mar­i­juana and guns in an il­le­gal struc­ture be­tween Mil­ner and Rose Courts.

The in­tel said there were guns and mar­i­juana in hid­den com­part­ments in the shack.

The po­lice only found dagga. The quan­tity was enough to war­rant an ar­rest, cops on the scene said.

Smith said that the po­lice and law en­force­ment agen­cies were work­ing closely to­gether – “now more than ever be­fore”.

“We will not sit back and watch as gun vi­o­lence con­tin­ues in Elsies River and Bishop Lavis,” he said.

Smith was full of praise for the team’s ef­forts as the op­er­a­tion con­cluded late on Thurs­day.

The oper­a­tions fo­cused on gang/drug and other vi­o­la­tions in the ar­eas of Elsies River and Bishop Lavis.

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