Nine arrested in quarry raid after petition

Nine people were arrested during a joint crime operation held at the Strand Street quarry.

Nine people were arrested during a joint crime operation held on Thursday morning at the Strand Street quarry.

The operation involved members of SAPS, Metro police, City law enforcement, traffic services, Green Point City Improvement District and the City’s canine unit and was conducted in response to complaints from Green Point and De Waterkant residents about the crime and illicit activities at the quarry.

Residents and business owners in De Waterkant and Bo-Kaap started an online petition, calling for authorities to ensure the safety of the community and the development of business in the tourism sector.

The residents demanded that the government and law enforcement take action against illegal settlement, crime and drug dens which have taken root at the national heritage site.

“Informal illegal invasions, brutal assaults, muggings, burglary, drug trafficking, litter (destroying the environment), fires and human faeces have become a regular occurrence in the Strand Street Quarry, De Waterkant / Bo-Kaap area.

“We, the undersigned, demand decisive action from the City of Cape Town, government, law enforcement and Environmental Affairs to make our safety their priority,” the petition reads.

The quarry falls within wards 115 and 77 and councillors, Dave Bryant and Brandon Golding held a meeting last week with relevant stakeholders to discuss the current challenges.

Mr Bryant presented some of the footage of recent muggings in the area. He said the City’s CCTV unit reported that while the camera on Strand Street wass currently not operational the Hout Street camera, which was installed as a ward allocation project in 2015, had continued to assist in identifying numerous criminal and by-law offences in the Wash House Quarry (Kraal).

He said most of the cases captured by the camera relate to stolen goods, drug dealing, public drinking, fighting and a number of by-law contraventions.

Cape Town Central CPF chairperson Marc Truss confirmed that the criminality emanating from the quarries has increased over the past few years.

He also said many culprits released during lockdown have been hiding out and operating from the quarries.

Three of the nine arrests made were for possession of dangerous weapons, including a large sword and butcher’s knife, two arrests were for drug-related offences and four were illegal immigrants.

Police found a 13-year-old child at the quarries who was removed to safety under the Child Care Act.

“These operations will continue and the City’s legal team is busy with the ongoing processes relating to the illegal structures,” said Mr Bryant. “There are still numerous challenges at the sites and I will be working with the ward councillor for the quarries, Mr Golding, to address as many of these as we can.”