Neighbourhood watch patrollers were out in full force in Tygerhof on Saturday.
Around 40 watch members from various watches — including Brooklyn and Ysterplaat, Sanddrift, Phoenix and Summer Greens — joined the Tygerhof Neighbourhood Watch (TNW) “power patrol”.
Law enforcement officers and Crime Watch SA patrollers also took part.
First stop on the 3km patrol were the dingy underground railway tunnels cutting across Koeberg Road.
TNW chairman Gordon Munro said homeless people lived in the tunnels, but they also attracted “criminal elements”.
Steven Payne, 42, was found at his “home” in the tunnels, where he has lived alone for about four years.
He makes a living by begging at robots and his belongings are an old mattress, curtains and a small cupboard with an old cast-iron pot. He collects water from a nearby river.
Once out of the tunnels, the patrol headed to a thoroughfare linking Skyliner Avenue to Ratanga Road, Century City.
Mr Munro called it the “infamous lane” on the map for muggings and illegal graffiti.
A schoolboy who lives nearby told Tabletalk he had been robbed while walking through the thoroughfare a few months ago.
“I was on my way to the MyCiTi station in the morning when a guy walked up behind me. He had a screwdriver and said he would stab me if I didn’t give him my phone.”
The boy said a friend of his had also been robbed there.
Mr Munro said neither the City nor province was taking ownership of the thoroughfare, so they did not know who it belonged to and did not know who to complain to about it.
“The neighbourhood watch painted over the graffiti a while ago. On a different occasion, a resident close by also painted the walls clean, but in no time there are scribblings on the wall again,” he said.
“Another problem is scooters delivering food that whizz through the lane. It is illegal.”
A scooter making its way through the thoroughfare at the time was stopped and the driver issued a fine by law enforcement.
From there, the patrol headed to an open field in Quigley Road.
TNW member Ran Mirkin said they tried to chop down the vegetation on the field every few months for better visibility.
A walk through the thick Port Jackson revealed a makeshift tent and two men standing around a fire.
Questioned by one of the law enforcement officers, one of the men said he had been released from jail recently.
After two hours of patrolling, Mr Munro thanked everyone for their support.
“All areas have their problems. Some are bigger than others. We need more active members because we can only do so much,” he said.