Bush full of trouble

Port Jackson trees and bush along the Saxdowns Road and Belhar Road reserves are used as hide-outs.

There’s a been a spike in burglaries and robberies in Highbury because of criminals hiding among trees and bushes along two road reserves, say residents.

And they say those using the Saxdowns Road and Belhar Road reserves to get to work or taxi pick-up spots are being preyed on by criminals lurking in the uncut Port Jackson trees and bush.

The latest break-in in the area was at an Excelsior Street home on Friday June 14, according to Kuils River police spokeswoman Colonel Karen Vorsatz. Nobody was arrested, she said.

The bush also poses a fire threat, say residents.

Sidney van der Colf, of the Highbury Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (HIRRA), said he had battled in vain for a year with Ward 19 councillor Ricardo Saralina to clear the road reserves.

An elderly man from Emerald Street had previously cut back the trees and bushes, but they had been neglected since the man’s death last year, he said.

“During the summer season, last year, residents around here had a problem with snakes coming from the bushes. This is really unsafe,” Mr Van der Colf said.

Northern News has seen extensive email correspondence between Mr Van der Colf and Mr Saralina on the issue. However, Mr Van der Colf insists “nothing is being done”.

Edmund du Plooy, HIRRA’s chairperson, said the association had agreed to handle the situation in a “fair and respectable” manner by taking their concerns to the councillor, but there had been no progress since their first complaint in January, 2018.