‘Take back Beach Road’ – CCPO [WATCH VIDEO]

THE Community Crime Prevention Organisation (CCPO) wants to ‘clean up’ Beach Road, with the intention of displacing criminals, prostitutes and drug pushers who currently plague the prime tourist area.

READ: Mother, daughter stabbed in Beach Road

It has kicked off a plan that it believes will provide a sustainable, ongoing solution to the area’s problems by involving everyone that has a stake in the project’s success.

Acknowledging the complexity of the problem, CCPO chairman George Lithgow, operations manager Eugene Engelbrecht and secretary Maestro Mncibi stressed that the problem can only be resolved through the collective efforts of all stakeholders. This means local flat owners, body corporates, businesses, as well as policing and council resources.

WATCH VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

Crime has taken root in the area, with many feeling that some of the car guards are fronts for illegal drug and crime activities. Prostitutes also frequent the road in their numbers, fuelled by the demand of high-end customers who collect them in R2-m vehicles.

READ ALSO: Man sustains multiple stab wounds in Beach Road attack

“That’s our ‘strip’, our version of Durban’s Marine Parade and the prime tourist area for Amanzimtoti. It’s vital that we take it back if we’re ever going to attract December tourists in their numbers or the festive season fleamarket,” said Engelbrecht.

He has held two meetings on behalf of the civic-funded crime fighting force, where he introduced the plan to local business representatives. It was readily supported with all concurring that an ongoing intervention was sorely required. “There was some negativity about the fact that previous attempts have failed, but we’re undeterred specifically because we know we have the right team to make this work – if everyone gives their mandate and support,” said Engelbrecht. Mncibi said previous attempts had failed due to the lack of a consistent drive, which the CCPO can sustain going forward.

Importantly, Toti SAPS station commander, Col Bonginkosi Nkabinde has approved the proposed intervention and promised his station’s support.

Metro Police will also be engaged to provide enforcement resources.

The proposal is a three tier structure, with phase one focused on information gathering. The CCPO will provide all roleplayers with occurence books to record details about when and where incidents take place. “This vital intelligence will inform what and where the problems are, which will facilitate the most effective operational response,” added Engelbrecht.

Phase two includes formalising the car guards on Beach Road, which the CCPO will facilitate, to root out existing criminal elements and increase their operational presence. “As a crime fighting operation, we’re best placed to be the operational champion of this initiative.”

Lithgow said PSIRA had been engaged to assist in this regard. Mncibi advised that additional stakeholders in the form of various eThekwini Municipality structures would be engaged. These include Safer Cities, community safety and liaison, community participation, the mayor’s office security cluster, as well as beach law enforcement.

‘‘Right now, we need more commitment and buy-in from Beach Road residents. It is the most densely populated stretch in Toti and yet has very few paying CCPO members. If we’re to tackle this problem head-on and succeed, it will only be through this intervention but it needs resources to drive it,’’ said Lithgow.

Individuals pay just R160. Call the CCPO on 031-903-7037 to sign up.

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Michelle Izatt
Managing Editor

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