Bedfordview unites to help beggars

The team of officers before the operation last Thursday.

In order to reduce crime in Bedfordview, residents have launched an initiative to help rid the streets of beggars.

The resident coordinating the initiative, Mr Leon De Bruin, said he does not believe that giving money to beggars is the right way to support them.

“It is not sustainable and can cause problems for residents going forward,” he said.

During a meeting recently held to discuss the initiative, reasons were given to residents as to why beggars should not be supported.

Mr De Bruin said, “At the forefront of these reasons is the safety and security of residents and their families,” he said.

He said the initiative was not only to remove the beggars from the area, but to also assist them and offer them alternative ways to survive.

“We will provide information to residents, including a list of alternative organisations specifically devoted to beggars, the homeless and the destitute. These organisations will ensure donations are correctly used. This list will be circulated on social media but is available from Ms Sherri Croucamp, via the Bedfordview Community Police Forum (BCPF),” he said.

Mr De Bruin said an SMS donation facility is being investigated.

“This means there is no reason why beggars should be supported in any way at street corners. Those who do, are the problem. As residents, we have the right to strongly object to those whose actions compromise the security and safety of our families and we should not tolerate this,” he said.

He urged residents to actively support the initiative.

“We have the support of all key departments and organisations. This is a resident driven initiative and needs support from residents,” said Mr De Bruin.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, officers from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) and Vispol members of the Bedfordview SAPS conducted an operation to rid the intersections of beggars.

The Bedfordview SAPS spokesperson, Warrant Officer Mduduzi Nhlabathi, said the officers were reacting to an outcry from the community.

“We often take them to the police station where we profile them to see whether or not they are linked to any criminal activity,” said W/O Nhlabathi.

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