Businesses work together to fight crime

KAYLYNN PALM

Rocklands businesses off Caravelle Road have collaborated with community structures to reduce and prevent crime in the area by forming a working committee.

Members of the Seaview Block Committee, Rocklands sector commander Captain Leon Jooste and Eastridge sector commander Constable Courtney Smith, ward councillor for Ward 81, Danny Christians, and business owners attended a planning meeting on Friday June 1 at the BP garage.

The shop owners at the Rocklands service station also donated a vehicle to the community safety structures such as the neighbourhood watch, the community police forum sub-forums and block committees in the area. The vehicle will be used for patrols and in crime prevention programmes.

Nadir Isaacs, the service station manager, said there has been an increase in crime, affecting businesses and residents.

“The need arose for shop owners, SAPS and the neighbourhood watch to get together and discuss how we could contribute to eliminate the crime in our area. The first meeting was held to discuss how to address crime in the business hub and the broader area of Rocklands,” he said.

Mr Isaacs said it is a pilot project and the working committee will have representatives of all relevant stakeholders.

“This working committee will endeavour to do everything within the parameters of the law. We are confident that the initiative will work and we are asking that the community support us. We want crime to decrease in our area and make it a safer area for people to shop and live in,” he said.

The service station has supported the neighbourhood watch with an office from which it operates.

“It is important that we invest and support residents who volunteer daily. They are the ones who sacrifice their time and are caught up in dangerous situations. We thank you for your services,” Mr Isaacs said.

Mogamat Jappie, the chairperson of the Seaview Block Committee, said most of the crimes committed in Rocklands are drug-related.

He said most of the crimes are not formally reported to SAPS, which gives an inaccurate reflection of the area when the crime statistics are released.

“When people are mugged, or they experience a break-in, they do not report the incident to the police. With that they don’t receive a case number and the crime is not logged.

“This is a problem because now it looks like there’s no crime in Rocklands and then we will not be allocated resources and equipment. So how do we fight crime if people do not report it?” asked Mr Jappie.

Captain Jooste said the prominent crimes reported in Rocklands are drug dealing, break-ins and common robberies.

He agreed with Mr Jappie about the importance of reporting crimes to SAPS and urged residents to take back their streets by joining the block and street committees.

Mr Christians expressed support for the initiative and said Mayor Patricia de Lille will allocate a container that will be placed on the corner of Caravelle and Eisleben roads to serve as a mobile office for community safety structures and a safe house for residents affected by crime.

Mr Isaacs said the working committee will be launched at a formal event.

Rocklands residents can report crime to Rocklands sector commander Captain Leon Jooste on 079 894 1534.