Hilton crime wave continues

Crime in Hilton has been on a steady increase with many reported cases of house breakings nearly every week.
Residents have taken to various platforms including social media to express their frustrations and concerns regarding the current state of the lack of safety in the once safe community.
It’s a common occurrence on social media to see posts from Hilton residents describing their terror of home invasions. Last week a terrifying ordeal came to the fore when a resident shared their experience online.
“I woke up to screaming and glass smashing.
Three masked men broke our gate and set the beams off in attempt to get in,” she said. Another resident claimed that her partner had injured himself while trying to scare the robbers off.
“He smashed and lacerated his hand trying to scare them away. They are brazen and don’t care about beams or alarms,” she exclaimed, in her Facebook post.
Vice-chairperson of the Hilton CPF and resident Pam Passmoor believes the crime has been aggravated by Transnet’s overgrown and unmaintained railway servitude that many residents have alleged harbours criminals in the area.
Maritzburg Sun previously reported that the CPF opened a police case against Transnet for failing to comply with municipal bylaws and maintaining the site.
“We have given Transnet until Thursday to start clearing the bush before we take further action,” she said. Other break -ins have reportedly come via the N3 Highway. “Other houses being targeted are near the N3. “They park their cars on the Highway and gain access to people’s yards and make an easy escape,” she said.
Head of Aliwal Security Sewraj Girdhurpersad, who has a large security footprint in the area said on average there were two to three incidents per week.
“Contrary to popular belief, there are various gangs who operate throughout the country. People often think it is one gang from one area.
What we have noticed is that criminals now operate faster. Five-minute gangs now get the job done in two minutes,” he said.
Hilton ward councillor Craig Millar believes the crime there is following the same patterns of national crime.
He attributed it also to the increase in development in Hilton and the additional people coming into the area.
“With the amount of development happening in our town, there is a large number of people who move in and out of the area each day which affords criminals who are surveying the area an opportunity to do so with relative ease,” he said. He commends the Hilton SAPS for doing all they can with limited resources when attending to crime in the area.
“Hilton SAPS has increased their blue light patrols and special operations on weekends,” he said. He added that all efforts to stop crime would be in vain unless all the necessary parties played their part.
“A lack of enforcement of by-laws with regard to clearing of vacant stands, public open spaces and rail reserves will mean that the criminals have plenty of cover in which to hide while committing their heinous deeds.
I have held a number of community meetings and follow up meetings with stakeholders recently and together with the CPF and input from my community, I am assisting community security initiatives evolve their processes in order to improve their effectiveness,” he said.

Thembalethu Zakwe

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