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Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch urges vigilance during Ramadan

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By Ragheema Mclean

The Bo-Kaap Neighbourhood Watch (BKNW) is reminding Muslims to stay safe and vigilant while attending mosques, especially during early morning Fajr and late-night Taraweeh prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking on VOC Breakfast on Thursday, Chairperson of the BKNW, Ebrahim Billy Christians, emphasized the importance of vehicle safety, urging musallees (worshipers) to remove all valuables from their cars and store them in the trunk.

He highlighted the need for caution amidst an increase in car break-ins in the Bo Kaap area, as more vehicles will be parked in the area during prayer times.

Christians confirmed that no reports of car break-ins during prayer times specifically has been received, however he reassured residents that the BKNW will conduct routine checks and monitor the area for any suspicious activity.

“We just want to create awareness for musallees. BKNW guys will be doing routine checks. We walk around and check for any unfamiliar faces, and we speak to the car guards to see if any suspicious guys are walking around.”

Commenting on the recent incidents of crime, including a clash between rivalry gangs near Chiappini Street, which has prompted increased vigilance in the area, Christians noted the following.

“After that incident it has calmed down, when we do patrols, we usually go into the area and speak to the guys because they are guys from the area. We have a chat with them just to keep the calm between the two groups. It is important to communicate with these guys, we can’t just leave and ignore them. There are so many issues that play a part in these issues for example poverty etc.”

He stressed the importance of communication with residents and law enforcement to maintain calm and address underlying issues such as poverty.

“We deal with SAPS daily. With the recent shooting SAPS were very vigilant in the area, they had raids and arrested around 11 guys in the area within days of the incident.”

“Up till now you will see there is SAPS and law enforcement visibility operating within the area.”

However, he also called for more tourism safety measures from the city, highlighting the need for law enforcement presence in Bo-Kaap, similar to popular tourist destinations like Table Mountain and Signal Hill.


Photo: Pexels

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