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Pagad: Gang violence 'decreasing'

Pagad says it seems gangsters are starting to realise residents want to take back their streets.

FILE: Pagad says it has noticed a decrease in crime and violence in gang affected areas since it began staging motorcades and peace marches. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Anti-crime group People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) says it has noticed a decrease in crime and violence in areas such as Mitchells Plain since it began staging motorcades and peace marches.

The group staged a motorcade in Searidge Park last night after the community called for its assistance in curbing gang violence and drugs.

Last month, Pagad joined Freedom Park residents in a peace march.

A number of children have recently been wounded after getting caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.

Last week, three children were caught in the centre of suspected rival gang shootings while in a separate incident, a 10-year-old boy was shot dead by a stray bullet outside his Beacon Valley home.

Pagad's Haroon Orrie says it appears gangsters are starting to realise residents want to take back their streets.

"I had a meeting with the Tafelsig community and they said they have noticed a change within the crime that is happening. While it hasn't completely stopped, they said there is a major difference."

Meanwhile, The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children has condemned the violence and says children are left traumatised and live in fear as a result.

The centre's Dorothea Gertse says children in many Cape Town suburbs can't play outside and often skip school due to the violence.

"Children hear gunshots all the time and don't know what will happen next."