The protest and violence by poachers in Kleinmond last week must be condemned in the strongest terms.

The Overstrand is known for its peace, safety and tranquillity and incidents like this cannot be condoned. Bullies who threaten public safety and tarnish our public image must be brought to book.

There may be a limited level of understanding for those who find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they have been driven to a life of crime due to social circumstances. But to protest, block roads and pelt vehicles with stones is unacceptable and those found to be responsible must be arrested. The saying goes: ‘do the crime, and serve the time’.

No matter who we are, no matter what community we live in, irrespective of race, creed or language, we are all deeply affected by crime and violence.

During this time of economic recovery after the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed, we need to address the social ills that plague our communities and drive them to crime. The new normal needs to be a space where there are lawful economic opportunities for all. By making a coordinated effort we can improve the quality of life of all people living in our area. This means eliminating poverty, which is a major contributing factor to a climate of crime and violence.

We must remain vigilant and work with the police, neighbourhood watches and other role players to keep our communities safe. Criminals must not be harboured among us. In far too many instances, perpetrators are known to communities and are sheltered by them.

To weed out criminality we need to stand together, not only to condemn these acts, but also to help to end them.

Our thoughts are with Daily Maverick columnist Ismail Lagardien who is suffering from a broken jaw and a chin fracture after a brick was thrown at him by protesters. Together we must root out lawless behaviour of this kind. It is not who we are.

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