“Sophiatown police station not equipped to deal with gangs”

Residents of Westbury west of Johannesburg say the on-going gang related violence in the area is dangerous, especially for children growing up in the community.

Residents resumed their protest on Monday morning. Some of the streets leading into Westbury have been blockaded with burning tires and other objects.  Residents are protesting against gangsterism, crime, and drugs in the area.

Residents feel government and the police are failing to help rid the community of the scourge and arrest those involved.  Westbury community leader Shaiem Ismail has called for the reinstatement of specialized police units to deal with drugs and gang violence.

“The biggest mistake our government did to policing was to disband the specialized units such as the gangster units, firearm unit. That’s what led to the escalation of this type of crime. For cash in transit, they have a specialized unit to deal with that.  The immediate shootings happening, you need a force to deal with that. The local police station is not equipped.  They don’t have the necessary experience. They are just human beings, “says Ismail.

Meanwhile, Police are monitoring several areas in Johannesburg including Claremont, Noordgesig and Toekomsrus.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini says the situation is calm in Westbury at the moment.

“Police are monitoring the areas of Tokomsrus, Claremont, and Noordgesig and Westbury.  The metro police and SAPS members are in the area.  The traffic is flowing at this stage. We want to make sure that the law-abiding citizens are free to go wherever they want to go,”says Dlamini

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