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Mitchells Plain attempts to reclaim streets from gangs

Residents and police are using bon fires as a way to recruit more people to join community policing.

FILE: Resident Cedric Daniels, says community members play a big role in helping police eradicate crime. Picture Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Mitchells Plain community members are reclaiming their streets from criminals with the launch of a new crime prevention initiative.

Residents and police are using bon fires as a way to recruit more people to join community policing forums.

The community policing forum's chairperson, Abie Isaacs, says initiatives like these are more important than ever before with the spike in reports of crime in Mitchells Plain.

"This is a street community initiative, some of them are having bonfires in open spaces, to reclaim their open space and it's also a crime deterrent for the gang element in those particular areas."

Resident Cedric Daniels, says community members play a big role in helping police eradicate crime.

"This community is aware of their people that belong to gangs, that do the break-ins, the hijackings."

At the same time, Manenberg residents on the Cape Flats say they are too afraid to walk in the streets amid ongoing gang violence in the area.

The Manenberg Community Policing Forum's Roegshanda Pascoe says a man in his twenties was shot in the back during a clash between rival gangs last night.

Pascoe says as night falls on the area, many parents fear for theirs and their children's safety.

"You can't go and visit family members now, you can't walk around, because you don't know when the shooting is going to start. Most of the people are calling the children in now."