Safety in the Cape Town CBD is being beefed up ahead of the festive season, with the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) upping its security contingent on the ground to prevent petty crime in the city centre.
Preventing ATM fraud and educating visitors about ATM scams is high priority as the CCID’s Safety & Security department rolls out its festive season security strategy.
“We are increasing the number of safety officers who are deployed 24/7 in town to target opportunistic crime – especially ATM fraud – before visitors arrive for their year-end holiday,” says Muneeb Hendricks, CCID Safety & Security manager. Other petty crimes that will be targeted include chain-snatching, pickpocketing, cell phone theft and theft out of motor vehicles.
“Like most cities around the world, there are fraudsters and opportunistic criminals about who are keen to rob visitors of their money and other possessions. We have noticed a worrying increase in ATM fraud in the CBD of late, with well-dressed, sophisticated scammers stopping tourists in the street and telling them they need a permit to walk there. They then lure the visitors to an ATM, where this “permit” can be issued. They then note the PIN, and make off with the credit card,” Hendricks said.
A special task team – comprising CCID Safety & Security, SAPS’s commercial crime unit, City Law Enforcement and the banking sector – is running daily covert operations to fight back and reduce the number of incidents, and several arrests have already taken place.
FESTIVE SEASON STRATEGY
The CCID’s festive season safety strategy aims to “eliminate the opportunity to commit a crime before it happens”, especially over the holiday season when visitors are relaxed and let down their guard.
Hendricks says there will be 109 Public Safety Officers (PSOs) deployed per shift at any given time to create a visible safety presence all over town.
The officers work with eight dedicated City Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) contracted via the City of Cape Town. This team will also be on the beat and has powers of arrest which gives the CCID the full reach of the law by being able to issue fines for all bylaw contraventions.
To encourage the public to be vigilant in town, CCID Safety & Security is collaborating with City Law Enforcement and the City’s Tourism Unit to educate people daily about ATM fraud, common robbery, and theft out of motor vehicles by handing out flyers with important safety tips. Spaces targeted include Greenmarket Square, Company’s Garden, Adderley and Castle sts and Long St, which includes the area where the popular City Sightseeing Red Bus operates.
CRIME PREVENTION OPERATIONS
Regular crime prevention operations will also take place with SAPS, City Law Enforcement and Metro Police in all hot-spot areas targeted by opportunistic criminals.
These operations focus on stop-and-search operations to look for dangerous weapons, house- and car-breaking implements, drugs and possible stolen items.
“The aim is to create a safety net around the CBD by partnering with all law agencies and downtown businesses,” says Hendricks.
Tourism Monitors, deployed and managed by CCID Safety & Security and funded by the National Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Expanded Public Works Programme, have been deployed in the CBD from 1 December.
The monitors are stationed around tourism attractions and hotels to improve the visitor experience. “They increase our security visibility in town and are our ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground. They’ll also educate members of the public about ATM fraud, and Covid-19 safety protocols in areas with large queues to help reduce the risk of infections,” says Hendricks.
While CCID Safety & Security provides top-up services to those of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and City of Cape Town Law Enforcement all year round, it intensifies these from December until March and treats this entire period as the festive season.
Released on behalf of Sharon Sorour-Morris, CCID Communications manager, 082 216 0835