September 25, 2017

News:

Brandwag Flats residents worry about crime

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 Living in fear… Residents of the Brandwag “White” Flats are concerned with the high crime rate

Living in fear… Residents of the Brandwag “White” Flats are concerned with the high crime rate

Residents of the government-owned Brandwag Flats in Bloemfontein are worried about their safety following a marked increase in break-ins and other violent crimes.

Some of the residents who recently spoke to The Weekly appealed for increased police patrols, saying they could help deter the criminals.

A second-year University of the Free State student, who didn’t want to have his identity revealed, said that the crimes that occur at the flats have a negative effect on his studies.
“I am from Cape Town and these flats remind me of the Cape Flats back home,” said the student.

“There is no sense of security here and because I have a fear that my flat could get broken into, I often carry valuable things with me whenever I attend classes. This means that my bag is always heavy and because of the physical strain the performance in my studies is not satisfactory,” he added.

The student also indicated that there are various crimes that happen at the residence and that some of the tenants seem to be oblivious to them.

“I haven’t been victim to a crime yet but I witness different criminal activities almost everyday. Last week I saw a man who I suspected to be a drug dealer being taken away by the police. And the week before that, I witnessed two men who were arguing and whilst they were exchanging insults one of them pulled a gun threatening to shoot the other,” he said.

Another tenant who also opted for anonymity, said that she fears that the criminals who broke into her flat might still come back.

“About a month ago, my flat was broken into; they took my flat screen TV, microwave and some personal items worth R 2 000. I am just grateful that I was at work and my three year old daughter was at crèche when the incident happened,” the woman said.

“This incident made me want to leave these flats, but my daughter’s day care centre is nearby and the rent here is relatively cheaper,” she added.

However, sector commander of the Brandwag area Sergeant C. Mosiane said that they have had a decrease in crimes around Brandwag since they established an Imbizo Project to improve security.

“The level of crime in Brandwag has decreased drastically since the establishment of the Imbizo project that began early December last year. The project is in partnership with the Brandwag community and we also have a WhatsApp group where community members can engage with us daily regarding their concerns or give us tip-offs,” Mosiane said.

Sergeant Mosiane urged residents to report the crimes so that the situation can be mitigated instead of keeping quiet.

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