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CBD stakeholders can help to fight crime in the CBD

CBD stakeholders can help to fight crime in the CBD

19 June 2019

CBD stakeholders can help to fight crime and make a difference by doing three simple things, says CCID Safety & Security manager Muneeb “Mo” Hendricks.

While all businesses have “resource issues”, Mo says the reality is that the CCID’s Safety & Security department, as well as its primary safety partners, the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement agency and the South African Police Service (SAPS), have limitations. “It is impossible for us to be on every corner in the CBD. It is, however, possible for the community of stakeholders in the CBD to help to bridge this gap by being our eyes and ears, and also get involved in community projects.”

They can do so by:

1. Being proactive about security

“Security personnel hired by businesses and commercial property owners in the CBD are usually stationed inside the buildings and in the foyer. But security officers need to be outside the buildings, on the steps, so that clients feel safe and that the area outside a building is protected. We encourage businesses and commercial property owners to rather deploy their security personnel outside so they’re able to deter and monitor criminal activity,” says Mo.

Mo believes that if business owners are proactive, crime incidents will decrease. “No criminal will commit a crime in front of a security officer. It’s all about limiting an opportunity for a crime to occur instead of waiting until someone experiences a traumatic incident.”

2. Using the CCID’s 24-hour emergency number

Businesses and commercial property owners should also ensure their security personnel use the CCID’s 24-hour emergency number: 082 415 7127. This number can also be used to send WhatsApp messages. “By using our number to report incidents or suspicious activity, we’ll be able to assist within minutes as all CCID Public Safety Officers (PSOs) on foot and in vehicles are in constant radio contact with our 24/7 control room.”

Several businesses in the Central City are already using the CCID’s 24-hour emergency number to their advantage. And this has yielded positive results for them. The businesses on board include Standard Bank Centre (Heerengracht St), Tsogo Sun Hotel (Strand St), Investec (Hans Strijdom Avenue) and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (Lower Long St).

3. Getting involved in community projects

“We all need to be a part of the solution,” says Mo. He encourages Central City businesses to come on board and support projects that are geared to uplifting the area.

The CCID together with its NGO partner Khulisa Social Solutions has a number of programmes that provide work opportunities for streetpeople as well as valuable social services via Khulisa while enabling better management of the urban environment. In a previous issue of City Views, the CCID’s quarterly publication, Jesse Laitinen, manager of strategic partnerships at Khulisa Social Solutions, says street people are often marginalised and seen as a “problem”. However, through a programme like this, “problems can become assets”, she believes.

The latest pilot programme is called Make Long Street Better and was launched on 1 April 2019 by Long Street Associates in conjunction with the CCID and Streetscapes. So far, 17 businesses in the area are financially supporting the programme. They contribute R500 on the 25th of every month to Khulisa’s Streetscapes programme and every rand invested goes towards uplifting vulnerable individuals, so they don’t have to resort to aggressive begging. Follow this link to find out how to support the Make Long Street Better project.

IMAGES: Ed Suter

Tags: Khulisa Social Solutions CCID CCID Safety & Security Muneeb Mo Hendricks