Surge in Ocean View, Masi drug crime

Bags of cocaine seized in a recent police raid.

There has been a surge in drug dealing and confiscations in Ocean View and Masiphumelele, say the police.

Dagga, tik, and cocaine have all been seized in a series of busts over the past three months, according to Ocean View’s acting station commander Captain Nick Spreeth

“We recently seized cocaine in two raids conducted in April and July, based on information provided by reliable informants,” Captain Spreeth said.

“It was not large amounts, around 15 grams combined, with a street value of approximately R600, but arrests were made,” he added.

“Raids, as well as stop-and-searches, have been taking place, not only by SAPS but joint operations with Metro Police too.”

Ocean View Community Police Forum vice president Terence Daniels said he was concerned about the rise in drug-related crime.

“There has been a noticeable rise in the sale of cocaine, with small bags going for R250, not even the size of my thumb,” he said.

Some people who were facing financial hardship had resorted to selling their prescription drugs, he said.

Over-the-counter medicines, such as cough syrups, were being mixed with other substances to create potentially harmful concoctions, he said.

“People that are desperate and get prescription drugs from hospitals may sell those drugs for money. This activity creates a dangerous distribution chain and contributes to the increasing drug problem in the area,” Mr Daniels added.

Obtaining drugs is relatively easy for young people in Ocean View, according to a 17-year-old who did not want to be named.

“All you have to do is ask. You can approach anyone you know, or those already using drugs, about where to get them, and the information is readily given. Some students even come to school under the influence of drugs, and this is across all grades,” the high school pupil told the Echo.

Ocean View CPF and SAPS are urging parents to keep a close eye on their teens for signs of drug use.

“Adolescence is an experimental and challenging time, and young individuals may be susceptible to various substances,” Mr Daniels said,

Captain Spreeth emphasised the importance of parents taking responsibility for their children’s actions.

He said SAPS, with the permission of the Ocean View High School principal, regularly held raids there to look for drugs. Officers also gave talks at the school about the dangers of using drugs. However, parents needed to be proactive in keeping their children away from drugs, he said.

“Talk to your children and take responsibility – it’s not our children; it’s your children therefore why must we address your child’s wrongdoing? This is the message we try to bring across to the parents. The parents are quick to run to us for help when the child steals things out of the house, but as soon as we arrest them, we become the problem,” he said.

“Drugs will always be there. However, it takes a parent to teach the child the correct way of life. Rehab centres cost a lot of money, jobs are scarce and a blemish on your record will not help, especially if you want to travel or work abroad. Unfortunately, gang life revolves around drugs and money, and the youngsters of today see this and that’s what they want to become.”