Joint forces reap rewards

Councillor Aimee Kuhl and Captain Vuyiswa Mdebuka.

Last week marked the start of a new level of co-operation for the far south, around safety and security.

Despite SAPS and City law enforcement agencies being chronically under-resourced, three successful joint operations took place on March 1 and 3 in the area.

The success of these interventions was due to all relevant stakeholders – including community bodies such as neighbourhood watches, improvement district forums and private security providers – pulling to-
gether.

As a result, 12 people sleeping rough were removed from the Battle of Muizenberg site and subsequently arrested, while a taxi roadblock in Fish Hoek led to the impounding of four vehicles, the apprehension of a driver and the fining of numerous others.

On Friday evening, a joint roadblock organised by Metro police and SAPS, led to the arrest of three drunk drivers.

At the same time, a foot patrol was conducted along Fish Hoek Main Road and the beach.

Ward councillor Aimee Kuhl encouraged all citizens to actively become involved in community bodies and the local neighbourhood watches: “Visible patrols are the most effective deterrent to crime. Join your neighbourhood watch. They are our first line of defence against crime and in desperate need of support,” she said.

Ms Kuhl serves on the City’s portfolio committee of sustainability and resilience and will be holding a series of interventions, encouraging the people of the peninsula to become more empowered in dealing with threats to the social fabric of shared communities.

Captain Stephen Knapp of Muizenberg SAPS said after having received various complaints in relation to continuous trespassing and anti-social behaviour at the Battle of Muizenberg site, Muizenberg SAPS raided the area at 6.30am on Wednesday March 1.

He confirmed that 12 people, who were sleeping in makeshift structures, were arrested and charged with trespassing.

Two toddlers and a juvenile living there, were removed by social workers and taken to a place of safety.

“The operation, which had been planned in conjunction with the local councillor Aimee Kuhl, the Department of Social Development and Law Enforcement, was a success and will hopefully send out a message that Muizenberg SAPS will not tolerate anti-social behaviour and will act within the ambit of the law against those who make themselves guilty thereof,” he said.

The 12 who were arrested, aged between 20 and 41, appeared in the Muizenberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, March 2 and were found guilty and sentenced to a fine of
R2 000 or two months imprisonment suspended for five years.

Lieutenant Colonel Maggie Rossouw, acting station commander of Muizenberg SAPS, has assured the public that raids would continue in future to address the criminal elements in our community.

She believes that a long-term solution can only be achieved through a combined effort by all stakehold-
ers.