Cape Town - Macassar residents have started a petition demanding the local police in the area come up with a plan of action to stop a gang called “Bomb Squad”. The gang is made up of boys aged between 10 and 18 years.
This follows the killing of a youngster in the area after he was stabbed on Sunday. His death is one in a spate of gang-related acts of violence plaguing the community.
Greater Macassar Civic Association member Auriel September said the gangsters are using underage boys to fight their turf wars, adding that they demanded police visibility to conduct stops and searches.
“Our children are getting hurt on the streets and even at our schools. Homes are smashed and people are assaulted everywhere. Every assault and murder comes with retaliation, and the cycle of violence continues,” she said.
Ward councillor Peter Helfrich said there are two gangsters in the area with the biggest and dreaded being the “Bomb Squad” whom he said the police knew but were failing to arrest.
“Gang violence and serious crime in Macassar have spiralled out of control. Residents have said they are fed up with SAPS as, according to them, they are failing the residents dismally. They are not visible and are not dealing with crime effectively. Residents also complained that they hardly ever come out when they are called.
“Gangs know this and therefore operate freely and without fear. While we do not blame local police, because we know they are under-resourced, we have called on the police minister numerous times to remedy this,” he said.
Community police forum spokesperson Russel Williams says little progress has been made in the area to curtail violence and that the CPF was hoping to resolve the matter soon.
“We have a beautiful police station but in terms of resources and the manpower, it is struggling.
“In our last meeting, we inquired about the vacant police officer positions that need to be filed as a matter of urgency as we have noted that there is no urgency. This, as a result, has led to a situation we have found ourselves as the community where we see all sorts of crimes escalating,” Williams said.