Portland residents tired of drugs and crime

Portland residents in St Helena Street protest drug trading and house break-ins.

Portland residents are standing up against drug dealing and stolen goods being stored in houses in St Helena Street.

From 8am until late on Friday August 26, they stood in front of a house where, they claim, goods stolen from houses in the area are being stored, and across the way from a house where they allege drug dealing happens.

Amy Segers, from Portland Street Committee Block K – which is bordered by the railway line, Tobago Way, Merrydale Avenue and Tahiti Street – said they slowed business down at the alleged drug den.

During the stand-off they had a run-in with residents at the house where they claim stolen goods are being stored.

Ms Segers said there had been eight break-ins in the area during August.

Lynne Walburgh said her house was burgled after midnight on Sunday August 21, with the intruders making off with wet washing and two tins of paint .

Ms Walburgh said they did not feel safe and her children did not want to play outside.

Ashwin Petersen, chairperson of the street committee, said they would not tolerate what was going on in their street.

“We are sick and tired of being hostages in our own home,” he said, adding that when committee members accompanied police on a raid of the house, stolen property had been found under the home owner’s bed.

The owner of the house was arrested but the residents say his children are the thieves and that there are several cases pending against them.

In Block K, work has also started on the construction of a wall to place parts of a stolen palisade fence which barred access to the railway line, across from Liberty Promenade shopping centre.

Residents had collected donations and hosted fundraisers to buy concrete mix and during weekends, did repair work.

Mitchell’s Plain police station confirmed two case numbers Plainsman sent to them, saying a case of theft and another of housebreak-in were being investigated.

Police spokesperson Constable Nozuko Makwayiba, however, said police could not confirm whether eight break-ins or theft cases had been reported or whether there were warrants of arrests or cases pending against those who lived in the house where the stolen goods were found. While she did confirm that the owner of the house had been arrested on Sunday August 14, she added that the case had been withdrawn at Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court the following day.

“The case was withdrawn after the complainant went with uniform member to the suspect’s address and found her items,” she said.

Constable Makwayiba said they had no records linked to the names and surnames of the man’s children.