THE Bulwer Ambassadors stationed in Helen Joseph (Davenport) Road made a significant difference to the area over the festive season.
Heather Rorick, operations manager and one of the directors of the CIP said she had noticed a lot of change in the road with the presence of the 14 official ‘guards’ who she said have improved the look of the road, as well as increased a feeling of safety for patrons.
“Davenport Road was very busy over the festive season and I have noticed it is a lot cleaner and there have been a lot less vagrants in the area. We received a lot of positive feedback from patrons visiting the restaurants during the holiday, and our next step is to introduce a night shift,” she said.
Heather said following the intimidation of the Ambassadors by vagrants who worked as illegal car guards before the project was initiated, she was still concerned for the Ambassadors’ safety at night.
“We are waiting to ensure their safety has the all clear and will be working with Metro Police this year to implement a night shift. We will need them to help us at night to ensure everything goes smoothly as there is a greater criminal element at night,” she said.
She said there hadn’t been further intimidation of the Ambassadors during the day and the vagrants generally stayed away from the area, but spiteful, petty things had been done to aggravate them, such as the theft of two of the Ambassadors’ handbags, and theft of tree wrappings. She said she had reported this to Metro Police.
“As much as we are trying to clean up the road, the vagrants are trying to get back at us, but we will be working with Metro Police as soon as the busy holiday period is over,” she said.
Heather said she had had a very productive and positive meeting with deputy mayor, Fawzia Peer, in December to discuss rezoning of the road to business, and said Peer would be looking into this so that the parking issue in the road could be addressed.
Chris Beresford from TAP Kruger and Associates, who is also one of the directors, said he had received a lot of positive feedback from people visiting the road and people had approached him to comment on the cleanliness of the area.
“The only negative is that we need more businesses in the road to get involved. I think a lot of people are sitting back and watching, however I think it is working pretty well considering the financial constraints. If this doesn’t work, the vagrants will take over and the property prices will be down the tubes,” he said.
He said by the end of January boards would be erected outside businesses who are part of the CIP to show the patrons that they were committed to making a change in the road.
“With more money we will be able to get the armed response vehicle on the road which will hugely benefit the businesses and residents in the area,” he said.
To find out more about the CIP, contact Heather on 074 203 2792 or Chris on 083 662 0505.