Skollies rule in Xroads

Symphony Way is another crime hotspot.

Rampant crime in Lower Crossroads has resulted in a number of residents fleeing the area.

Residents say thugs are tormenting the area by robbing people and breaking into homes in broad daylight. And, residents say, they get little help from police.

Vukani has, in recent weeks, been inundated with calls for help from frustrated residents who say the area is becoming a major hot spot where criminals rule.

Even Philippi East police have conceded that the problem is “out of hand”.

Police spokesperson, Captain Bheki Xulu, said the problem started in Marcus Garvey and had spread to a nearby Luzuko and Lower Crossroads.

He added that most house robberies happened in the early hours of the morning But many also happened during the day.

“It is done by about two to four men. But I must say there is a case opened by one resident. We appeal to residents to identify these men to us,” he said.

Residents say since the establishment of Marikana informal settlement about five years ago, public safety had become a problem.

“These young thugs kick the doors in in broad daylight. They will take everything in the house and leave the house empty. People are living in fear,” said a resident, who doesn’t want to be named for fear for his safety.

He appealed to police to relocate a mobile police kiosk, which is currently near Goal Supermarket, to Symphony Way, which separates Marikana and Lower Crossroads.

The resident said police were fully aware of the problem. “They know our problem. They should even know these thugs because everyone knows them. We are in big trouble here.

“Other residents are beginning to leave the area. If they see a police van in front of a robbed house, they come back to shoot the occupants after police had left. That is why people do not want to speak out.” Another resident, who also does not want to be named, said people were robbed of their valuables in the streets.

He said he was also considering moving out of the area. “This area is dangerous to residents. We are robbed by young people from Marikana. I am looking for a place elsewhere. I am leaving for my safety and my family”

Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Neo Motinyane said people needed to be educated about crime and that some people idolised and praised thugs. He said the situation was “really bad”. “Let us talk negatively about crime. Let us be against crime,” he said.

Mr Motinyane said in meetings people admit to knowing the thugs, but refused to identify them. “We have been saying they must speak to the station commander if they have no trust in the detectives, but they refuse,” he said.

Mr Motinyane urged residents to get involved in the fight against crime. He said another problem was pawn shops where stolen goods were bought and sold. “We all need to be part of the fight, working people and the business community. These pawn shops need to stop buying stolen goods too,” he said.

According to Mr Motinyane, another problem was that crime shifted between Marikana, Lower Crossroads and Luzuko. He said police would only be able to deal with crime if people came forward with information.