The Mercury

Police are outgunned and understaff­ed

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I PEN this letter out of despair as a resident of Newlands West – my friend and colleague – was robbed for the third time in a month.

I despair because I don’t believe that deploying a mere 500 cops in crime hotspots is going to deter criminals.

We in Newlands West need more with sufficient resources. Call in the army to lend support, for God’s sake.

I live in Castlehill, Newlands West, and on Friday, August 16, 2019, a visiting Maulana/cleric was hijacked from outside the Sufi Masjid in Steelcastl­e Avenue.

Two weeks ago, a senior attorney’s son was shot as he egressed from the same Masjid after evening prayers and, a few days later, those same thugs broke into his house and beat him and his family up before robbing them of valuables and taking their car.

I’ve tried to get Lieutenant-General Jula’s attention through WhatsApp but to no avail.

I want him to know that the Newlands West SAPS, which is responsibl­e for an area roughly 27km in length and breadth, and which has about 270 000 residents, has just two patrol vans with 8 police officers, and they’re understaff­ed and outgunned.

I tried to secure the Lieut-General’s attendance as well as the commander of SAPS Newlands West, but the latter gave me a cold shoulder when I phoned him and requested a meeting with leaders in the areas.

He coldly told me to attend CPF meetings to air our concerns. That’s not acceptable and I won’t be deterred.

I demand the SAPS take this letter seriously and, through The Mercury, perhaps this letter will find its way onto the desk of the Lieut-General as well as the commander of the SAPS at Newlands West.

So far residents are calm and patient but the matter could escalate into a deadly confrontat­ion as residents resort to extralegal methods of dealing with this scourge.

I am easily contactabl­e.

SABER AHMED JAZBHAY | Newlands West

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