From the news desk

Elsies River community struggles with Surge in Crime

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By Ragheema Mclean

The Elsies River Community has witnessed an increase in crime, with a recent report indicating a spat of violence between members of the community and local police force resulting in the death of a teenager.

At least three other civilians were wounded in the unrest on Sunday evening (17 March).

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is currently probing violent clashes between police officers and Elsies River residents.

Speaking on VOC’s Ramadhan AM on Tuesday, Imraan Mukkadam, Chairperson of the Elsies River Community Policing Forum (CPF), said officers responded to a tip-off and searched premises in The Range, where drugs and live ammunition were found.

Mukaddam said that, while the man linked to the drugs and ammunition was not at home at the time of the raid, an elderly resident of the house was arrested.

“It is not as if the community came to defend the actual drug dealer. I think procedurally, they had to arrest whoever was on the premises at the time.”

He noted that there is immense frustration in the community as residents view the clash and the death of the teenage girl as police brutality.

“As the CPF, we enrolled the human rights commission as well, so they will be watching a brief of the postmortem of the young girl as well as the IPID investigation.”

“We believe that there was undue force used by the police and that the necessary action and accountability need to be taken. We also want to appeal to the community to allow the police to do their work. Elsies River has had seven murders since the start of March due to gun and gang violence.” 

“I do believe we are making progress in keeping our communities safe; however, Sunday evening events set us back so much because the violence resulted in serious injury and death.”

In a separate incident, a 21-year-old man was fatally stabbed in Epping Forest, Elsies River, on Tuesday 18 March. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and the police have launched a murder investigation.

Meanwhile, in response to the recent spike in shootings on the Cape Flats, the Western Cape SAPS noted that it has increased deployments in identified hotspots.

Operations including search and seizures, stop and searches, roadblocks, raids, and tracing operations are underway to restore calm in areas like Mitchell’s Plain, Bishop Lavis, Philippi, Ravensmead, and Elsies River.

VOC News

Photo: VOCfm

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