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Lane closures may curb gang fights: CPF

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Closing lanes between homes in Eastridge in Mitchell’s Plain may be a solution to the ongoing crime in the area, according to the local Community Policing Forum chairperson, Abie Isaacs.

This comes following the death of a 28 year old woman who was caught in the gun crossfire between two rival gangs vying for territory near Katdoring street. Local police have declared the area around the street and others nearby a ‘Red Block’, in need of urgency.

“We have indicated to the councilor in that ward that there is a strong sense from the community that the lanes need to be closed. As the [CPF] we will address that and fast track the process so that we can approach the City of Cape Town. Clearly those lanes have an effect on crime, so we are in the process of getting signatures, because those lanes aid crime taking place there,” Isaacs said.

Isaacs explained that some communities prefer protecting the criminal elements among them. Although he could not give a motivation for this tendency, he says it is a trend across the Cape Flats.

“There’s a familiar scenario we can sketch: if you were to go some neighbourhoods, one side of the community would say the shooting started on the other side of the neighbourhood; when you go over to that other side they would point back and say, no, the shooting started on the opposite side. This shows us that there is a large part of the community that protects the criminal elements; you get parents that protect their children knowing that that child is bringing guns, or even drugs, into their homes.”

Isaacs says that although gang violence is an apparent and open form of violent crimes, other forms of crime take place every day that are not as visible as others. He says those crimes must also be reported by the community and not hidden away.

“We need to be able to unpack these things, when we say violent crimes, it is so much more than the so-called gang wars taking place in Mitchells Plain. We also need to understand that domestic violence has a higher prevalence than gang activity; domestic violence in turn eminates from things such as alcohol and substance abuse.” VOC


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