Better lighting to deter crime on footbridge

The City will be installing lighting on and around a footbridge at Woodstock train station after several commuters have fallen prey to muggers there.

The lights will be installed within the next two months, but the City has already built a new pavement nearby and resurfaced the approach road to the bridge.

Ward councillor Dave Bryant said the City was responsible for the footbridge and had adopted a “broken window” approach, doing regular clean-ups and graffiti cleaning, following complaints from residents and businesses about security.

Installing the lights would deter crime in the area, he said.

Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) had also secured nearby railway property.

Mr Bryant said the area around the bridge was only one of many other spots in Ward 115 needing similar attention.

Suzette Little, the mayoral committee member for area north, said it had cost about R385 000 to build the pavement, resurface the road and clear illegal dumping near the footbridge.

Woodstock police spokesman Sergeant Hilton Malila said the area had been on the police radar for a while, mostly for drug crime and robberies.

“We have received numerous concerns from the public that is using the bridge to go to work about robberies in the mornings and evenings. We have also made various arrest in that vicinity for possession and dealing in drugs.

“We think that lighting up the place will definitely cause a deterrent for criminals.”

He urged people using the bridge to be vigilant, walk in pairs and not flash their valuables.