The Lentegeur Community Policing Forum (CPF) says although not opposing the parading of the minstrels in Lentegeur, they are sceptical of the annual festivity. The CPF believes not only is it synonymous with questionable behaviour of the minstrels but the ongoing gang violence in the area makes them fear for the safety of the community.
“We have no problem with the minstrels marching but we are looking at what has happened in the past couple of months with the shootings in the area,” says Cassiem Gamiet, from the Lentegeur CPF.
The area is synonymous with ongoing gang violence as residents are constantly bombarded by shootings from gangsters. The CPF fears they may not be able to evacuate the residents out of the conflict zones fast enough, should there be packed crowds watching the minstrels.
“We are worried about the logistics pertaining to that section and the parade. If something happens again and there is a shooting what will happen to the people. How do the emergency services enter the area,” says Cassiem.
The community are divided on whether the minstrels should parade or not. The CPF only speak on behalf of those who are opposed to it.
The problem does not occur in the entire Lentegeur area but in Agapanthus street which also notorious for gang ridden and drug infested streets. Another issue is complaints that residents will not be able to enter and exit their homes when the minstrel’s parade.
“We are just for those who are against it and the logistics pertaining to the safety of the community,” says Cassiem.
He stressed that they have no issue with the minstrels parading in the area as they are just entertaining the people. VOC