Concerns Rise Over Gang Violence Surge in Retreat During School Holidays

Concerns Rise Over Gang Violence Surge in Steenberg During School Holidays

The Steenberg Community Policing Forum has voiced its growing concern regarding a recent increase in gang-related violence within the area. Gavin Walbrugh, the Chairperson of the forum, has noted a troubling pattern where gang conflicts seem to escalate particularly during school vacation periods.

Despite intensified police efforts to curb these violent outbreaks, the community continues to witness relentless shootings. A distressing illustration of this trend occurred this past Thursday morning, with a fatal incident inside a local barbershop situated on 12th Avenue, Retreat.

Malcolm Pojie, a spokesperson for the police, revealed that the Steenberg detectives have initiated a murder investigation following the event, which resulted in the tragic death of a 45-year-old man.

Pojie stated, “Members were dispatched to the scene and found the deceased in a chair inside a structure, which is used as a barbershop. He succumbed to a gunshot wound to the head.

He further suggested that the murder is likely connected to the longstanding gang disputes in the region. The assailant, whose identity remains unknown, managed to escape the crime scene and is currently at large.

Walbrugh also highlighted the challenge of allocating sufficient resources to combat gang violence, pointing out the strain on the Anti-Gang Unit’s capabilities within the precinct.

“We are very concerned with the scourge of violence in the precinct every time school children go on holiday, then gun violence gets out of control and this is not only in our precinct but other places. Resources have to be split everywhere,” Walbrugh expressed. He further elaborated on the logistical difficulties faced by the Anti-Gang Unit, noting, “The Anti-Gang Unit is in Steenberg for a few hours and then they are called to Mitchells Plain and Strandfontein, and that is when shootings happen [when they are gone].”

Recent efforts to address this issue have seen some success, with police making multiple arrests since bolstering their presence in the area last Sunday. Among the apprehended is a suspect linked to a Steenberg murder earlier in the month. The operation also led to the seizure of a .308 sniper rifle, a 9mm Glock pistol, and associated ammunition, marking a small yet significant victory against the tide of violence.

Is Enough Being Done to Stem the Tide of Gang Violence in Steenberg?

The persistent cycle of violence, exacerbated by the school holiday periods, prompts a critical examination of the strategies employed to safeguard the community.

With the Anti-Gang Unit stretched thin and the specter of gang warfare looming large, one must question whether the current approach is adequate or if further measures are necessary to protect the lives and futures of Steenberg’s residents.

What additional strategies could be employed to ensure a more sustained peace? Is the focus on arrest and seizure enough, or do we need to look at underlying causes and long-term solutions to gang violence?

What do you think?


Written by CapeGuy


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