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CCID launches festive season safety campaign for Cape Town Central City

by CCID 12 Dec 2018

To help ensure that both locals and visitors have peace of mind while enjoying themselves in the CBD during the festive season, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Safety & Security department has launched its 2018-19 crime prevention and public awareness “Stash it, don’t flash it” campaign and is also intensifying its Safety & Security measures.

With public safety, as always, the number one concern for the CCID’s Safety & Security department, the upcoming festive season is a time when it always intensifies its efforts due to the added influx into the Central City of visitors. In line with this, the department has launched its 2018-19 crime prevention and public awareness “Stash it, don’t flash it” campaign and is also increasing its Safety & Security measures.

According to the department’s manager Muneeb “Mo” Hendricks: “Our plans to ensure that both local and visiting holidaymakers stay safe in the CBD are all in place. Our main focus for the CBD is to reduce the opportunity to commit crime in the first place.

“The Central City is a popular venue for partygoers and others looking for entertainment and, during the festive season, even more people come to the CBD to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, as in any busy downtown, crafty criminals also look for and find opportunities as people are in holiday mode, enjoying their ‘down time’ and may not be as vigilant as they normally would. This is exactly what the “Stash it, don’t flash it” campaign seeks to address – educating members of the public on how not to become victims of crimes.”

Elements of the campaign include a display of street pole posters reminding people to be aware of theft out of vehicles, pickpocketing and ATM fraud. Flyers containing top personal safety tips as well as brochures with more detailed information are also distributed by CCID-branded teams in areas that are prone to these types of crime.

A newly introduced element of the campaign is the “Find Me” concept – an initiative aimed at encouraging members of the public to familiarise themselves with the CCID public safety officers (PSOs), who work around the clock throughout the CCID footprint.

Hendricks explains: “Easily identifiable in their black uniforms with bright green CCID-branded bibs and caps, we encourage anyone needing assistance to ‘find’ one of our officers as they are the most visible presence of the CCID in the Cape Town Central City. These PSOs are on the streets to keep you safe, make sure to find them. Members of the public can also follow this initiative and campaign on the CCID’s social media platforms. We have also recently activated WhatsApp Web in our 24-hour control centre and urge our stakeholders to make use of this service by sending us WhatsApp messages which can include text, voice notes, pictures or instant videos to inform us if any issues are identified in the CBD.”

Members of the public who prefer to call the CCID (on 082 415 7127) to report safety issues instead of using WhatsApp can continue to do so as calls are still monitored within the CCID’s 24/7 control centre as usual.

This year’s campaign and festive season safety plans will focus on theft out of vehicles, pickpocketing and ATM fraud.

Hendricks elaborates: “Due to the economic vibrancy of the CBD and the tourism industry, opportunistic criminals will attempt theft out of vehicles, pickpocketing and ATM fraud.  These are the three most prominent types of crime that we are targeting once again through our campaign and festive season safety plans with our law enforcement partners within the City of Cape Town and the South African Police Service (SAPS).”

In addition to the elements of the “Stash it, don’t flash it” campaign, and throughout the four-month festive season (from December 2018 until 31 March 2019), Hendricks says: “The CCID Safety & Security department will deploy an additional festive season team of 15 PSOs to add to the 270 PSOs deployed 24/7, 365 days-a-year on a rotational-shift basis. The additional 15 PSOs will be brought in from 16 December to 16 March 2019 to cover the increase in nighttime entertainment associated with the festive season in general as well as major events happening in the CBD at this time of year.”

Throughout the year, the CCID’s Safety & Security department also conducts the following and will continue to do so during the festive season:

  1. The CCID funds a team of 20 City Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) as well as six traffic wardens. The LEOs will be on duty throughout the festive season and will continue to be deployed on a shift rotation basis 24/7 and the traffic wardens will continue to assist with traffic violations and traffic congestion during the daytime.
  2. All CCID PSOs are equipped with body-worn video units 24/7, a system originally rolled out in 2016 that continues to yield positive results as an immediate behaviour modification tool.
  3. The CCID’s partnership with the Western Cape Government’s Department of Community Safety will continue to see a team of student ambassadors from the Chrysalis Academy deployed during the day in The Company’s Garden to provide an ambassadorial and safety presence within this iconic space. Similarly, a team of Chrysalis student ambassadors will continue to be deployed at certain hot-spot ATMs to raise awareness and prevent ATM fraud.
  4. Joint agency operations between the CCID, SAPS, the City’s Metro Police, Cyclops, Law Enforcement and Traffic departments will also continue as per usual.

A final word from Hendricks notes that, while his department will be intensifying safety measures in the CBD: “We still urge everyone out there enjoying the Central City during the festive season to help us to help them: be responsible when you are out and about, just as you would in any CBD anywhere in the world. In other words, be sensible and vigilant and help to ensure your own personal safety.”

Images by Ed Suter and Scott Arendse (CCID Online Coordinator)
Opening image: CCID night managers Martinus Jenkins (left) and Gary Dyssel (right) with some of the CCID's nighttime security deployment in Long Street.