Police cordon off a road as part of their response to a crime callout. Table View residents are calling for a larger number of officers and police vehicles in their area. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - School children in uniform are openly and unashamedly buying and using drugs on street corners and public places around the Table View beachfront areas.

This is according to Karen Davis, chairwoman of the Greater Table View Action Forum.

“The drug industry in the Table View community is thriving. Pushers are rife, the clubs are full of young people being hooked on drugs daily and I have even had a report of young people in their school uniforms at a club on the beachfront in the middle of the day, doing drugs openly,” Davis said.

“Our jails are full, our police are understaffed and resourced and until the law becomes harsher, the trend will continue.”

Davis said house-breaking, muggings and theft out of motor vehicles were more prevalent in the area.

She believed the reason for this is that there are not enough police in the precinct and not enough vehicles on the road to attend to all the complaints and calls.

“On many of our street corners and busy intersections, you will find up to 30 job seekers on any given day. These people are trying to find gainful employment for the most part, but there have also been reports of these people being opportunistic criminals. There are no by-laws to impede this practice and the ward councilors are trying to get a central point where job-seekers can register and be collected from. This seems to be the only answer.”

Table View, which has a population of around 130 000 and is still growing, is also experiencing spikes in property crimes such as house robberies, burglaries, theft of motor vehicles, theft out of motor vehicles, assaults and muggings.

The chairman of the Table View community policing forum, David Harris, said while they had a strong community participation in the fight against crime, unfortunately, they were the worst-resourced SAPS station in the Western Cape with a ratio of one officer to 970 residents.

Tableview resident Jolene Page said she had two major concerns.

As a parent, she is concerned about the drug issue. “I’m concerned that the kids in our area can get hold of it so easily and it doesn’t seem to be an issue that the law enforcement authorities can get a hold on.”

Violence in the Dunoon, Potsdam N7 area was another concern.

“Thousands of people are forced to use the exit routes running past this area as there are just no other options due to the lack of infrastructure and roads leading out of the community and all these people are forced to risk their safety and property every day and not know if they will be caught in the middle of a protest,” she said.

The chairman of Table View neighbourhood watch, Grant Lemos, said they were seeing a lot more contact crimes. “Smash and grabs in Potsdam Road are a huge problem, happening almost daily,” he said.

Weekend Argus