A truckload of rubbish has been cleared from dumping spots in Claremont.
Ward councillor Katherine Christie, the Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch, Claremont police and businesses joined municipal sanitation staff for the clean-up on Wednesday January 5.
They tackled the parking lot off Stanley Road and Imam Haron Road and grassed areas near Claremont police station and Clareinch post office.
People living near the parking lot had endured noise and intimidation by squatters and the smells of urine, faeces and burning plastic, said Ms Christie, adding that some businesses had raised concerns about possible drug dealing and prostitution in the area.
Ms Christie said she was motivated by “mercy and compassion” when dealing with the homeless and always addressed those living on the streets with respect, but homelessness was a complex issue.
“Some need housing, drug or alcohol rehab or reintegration with their homes and families. Others are hardcore and dangerous, a threat to our community.”
Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch chairman Derek Bluck said street people would continue to return to the parking area while it was accessible to them.
“There is nowhere else to sleep in the area, and, as the numbers increase, the pressure to find accommodation for the night forces the street people to use this location.”
Fencing the lot off for paid parking was a possible solution, he said.
The roads and transport department was looking at how feasible it would be to fence the City-owned parking lot to stop people sleeping there, Ms Christie said.
Claremont police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Marnus Fourie said the dirty conditions in Imam Haron Road had contributed to crime, and he thanked all those involved in the clean-up, which had made it harder for criminals to hide among the vagrants and commit crimes in Harfield and Lynfrae.