A special ratings area could be the answer to crime and grime in Table View, a meeting heard last week.
A representative of the Montague Gardens-Marconi Beam Improvement District (MMID) spoke to about 40 people who attended the meeting, along with ward councillor Dr Joy McCarthy, at Sunningdale Primary School, on Wednesday January 31.
The meeting was organised by Greater Table View Action Forum (GTAF).
Tony Pronk, the MMID’s public safety director, told how the special ratings area, or SRA, had found long-term solutions to crime and grime.
Residents in an SRA pay top-up rates for extra municipal services, including cleansing and law enforcement.
The MMID, is a non-profit company, and was formed in 2013 after a businessman was murdered in Montague Gardens.
Its purpose is to keep Montague Gardens and Marconi Beam safe and clean.
Mr Pronk said there was now less vagrancy in the area.
“Before we started operating, we had about 80 people sleeping in the streets and in factory properties. We have seen that decrease to around 20 vagrants now still roaming around.”
The success, he said, was the result of business owners working together. They had hired a private security firm to patrol the area 24 hours a day and seen a 57% drop in crime.
GTAF chairwoman, Karen Davis, has said she would be 100% behind Table View being an SRA in future but admits it would take a lot of convincing to get people on board.
“I think this is a workable solution to a lot of issues we face in Table View.
“We should not have Table View as one big SRA, however. We can break it down into different sections and I think that would be more effective. The biggest issue we will probably face is getting people to buy into the idea,” she said.
People should let go of the mentality they have that, “I pay my rates and taxes so the City must do the rest,” she said.
“Yes, the City has a lot they have to do but we must not forget that the City is dealing with a big influx of people coming for work and other things. We need to make a change and turning Table View sections into SRAs can create employment, which is another major issue we face.”
Table View Community Police Forum (CPF) chairman, David Harris, said they would support an SRA for the suburb.
“How this should be implemented will take some in-depth research. The CPF will need the support and input from all the community organisations to make the initiative work. The process will be a lengthy one and we all need to be fully committed if we are to succeed,” said Mr Harris.