Durban - Residents living in the suburbs of Phoenix have experienced an increase in petty thefts.
Most of these thefts do not get reported to the police said Annastashia Naidu, a spokesperson for a private security company Platinum Asset protection. The company has taken the initiative to conduct a crime clean-up sweep through the Palmview and Woodview suburbs.
Naidu explained that the sweeps consist of stopping people from digging into refuse bins left on the pavement during collection day.
"We have initiated this task due to the rise in crime. With these sweeps we encounter people with stolen items, as well as knives, bush knives, Allen keys/ hex keys which can be used to bust locks, we also find these people taking pictures of various houses and marking them, "Naidu revealed.
On Thursday the security company uncovered a blooming settlement within thick bushes in Amble Palm Place. Naidu said the area was hit hard by petty criminals.
"We discovered various makeshift structures covered by plastic. We believe there was a prostitution ring operating from here for drug addicts. Approximately 15 people including thirteen men and two women fled when we arrived.
Naidu said there was evidence of drugs being consumed in the structures.
"Drug usage, as well as the selling of drugs, is on the rise and now we are battling prostitution which increasing just as fast," Naidu said.