Kensington residents demand more police

Protest comes following spike in reported contact crimes

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Photo of protest
Kensington residents marched for more police resources. Photo: Fay Nagia

Kensington’s Community Policing Forum (CPF) together with about 200 residents marched on Sunday to draw attention to crime, gangsterism and drugs in Kensington, Fracreton and Maitland. This followed the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in late June.

A memorandum was handed to the South African Police Service (SAPS) offices in Kensington.

The march brought together religious organisations, political parties, and neighbourhood watch organisations in an attempt to highlight the crime situation in the community. There were 427 reported contact crimes in Kensington in 2015/16, the highest since 2005.

Cheslyn Steenberg from the CPF said that SAPS must answer the memo within 14 days, else the matter would be escalated. The memo asked for more police vehicles to patrol the area, additional staff at the police station, and the closing down of drug dens or the evictions of owners of drug dens.

Helen Jacobs, the ward councillor for the area, as well as Member of Parliament Zakhele Mbhele (the DA’s Shadow Minister of Police) attended. Mbhele gave a message of endorsement for the march.

A resident of Fracreton, Marion Kotje, approached Mbhele asking whether there were any plans to install a mobile policing unit for the area. She said that most of the crime reported within the Kensington area happens in Fracreton. She recalled how on 20 July, a young woman was slapped in the face and had a gun shoved in her mouth in an attempted robbery.

The CPF thanked the community for showing support for the march, stressing that when the community and police would work together, crime in the area would be reduced.

TOPICS:  Policing

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