Project maps Parow crime hot spots

Two organisations are relying on the public to help them map crime hot spots in Parow and Bellville.

The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) send staff and volunteers into the Parow and Bellville CBDs once a week to map areas seen as risky by the public.

They post a large laminated map in a particular area and ask passers-by to use stickers to flag areas that worry them and suggest solutions to crime there.

The GTP relies not only on public input, but on data provided by the VRCID and the police.

Monique Muller, from the GTP, said they had only recently started with Parow crime mapping and it would take a few months of analysis and monitoring crime to build a clear picture.

However, a pattern was already starting to emerge with Parow station, Parow market and Voortrekker Road being among those areas labelled hot spots.

Northern News has previously reported on the safety fears of Parow residents and commuters using Parow station (“We’re unsafe in our homes”, June 15).

Samantha Abrahams, 26, from Parow, feels she has to constantly watch her back when walking to and from the train station for her daily commute to work.

“We have to keep our belongings out of the public eye. We fear for our lives, and we just can’t be free. It is not fair that we have to look around us all the time,” she said.

Ms Abrahams often walks from Voortrekker Road to Cloete Street to reach the station but changes her route at least three times a week to prevent people from following her.

Another Parow resident, Maria Ryneveldt, 53, does her daily shopping in the Parow Arcade. But she gets what she needs and goes straight home.

“We cannot walk around like we used to before. We need to do what we must and go home because it is just not safe,” said Ms Ryneveldt, who has lived in the area for 10 years.

“We feel like prisoners in our homes, and now when we go outside we need to also constantly watch our backs.”

She said children and the elderly are easy targets.

The GTP started the Art in Action Mural Art project for the Parow Station Road Arcade last year (“Artists get a platform on Parow’s streets”, June 10, 2015).

Jonita Pasjar, the marketing and events coordinator at the GTP, said all the art in the arcade was still there.

She believes including local people in the images and the process to put them up has a lot to do with that.

Ms Pasjar said several investors had approached the GTP to help find buildings in Parow to redevelop.

“Interest is especially in finding buildings to redevelop into affordable housing,” she said.

Northern News contacted Parow police station for comment last week, but by the time this edition of Northern News went to print they had not yet responded.