Community members from Hangberg have taken a pro-active approach after numerous reports of shootings and other criminal activity as a result of gangsterism and drugs within the area. Residents of the Hout Baai town took it upon themselves to organize a meeting with the local police as a step towards addressing the scourge of crime within the community. The meeting took place yesterday and plans have been made that will benefit efforts to improve living conditions in the impoverished area.
Speaking to VOC, civic association chairperson, Roscoe Jacobs explains that the meeting gathered 300 residents and out of the meeting came the decision for residents to patrol with the police Friday evening and Saturday evening.
“Another thing that came out of the meeting was the agreement for the need of the City of Cape Town as well as the provincial government of the Western Cape to address the socioeconomic conditions,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs explained that one way to reduce gangsterism in the area is to minimize the possibility of youth joining gangs. He further said that youth in gangs need to be disengaged from gang activity.
“We feel that the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape need to come on board with programmes for young people to get employed or start their own businesses,” Jacobs added.
He further notes that the increased gang activity within the area has left residents vulnerable to violent flare-ups, and forced them to remain indoors
“We have had an occasion where an innocent young girl was shot and one incident where someone was shot and left in a critical condition in hospital,” Jacobs stated.
Jacobs added that the area currently does have a neighbourhood watch, but that the group does not have much support since it lacks members.
“Out of the 10,000 residents in the community, only 15-20 people patrol. The lack of support has led to the ineffectiveness of the neighbourhood watch,”he continued.
In a bid to mitigate the level of violence within the community, Jacob says that that members of the neighbourhood watch and the local police will be gathering at Salamanda Park at 09:00 PM for a patrol.
VOC (Imran Salie)