Long Street to have very own rent-a-cop

2016-07-12 06:05

A dedicated Law Enforcement officer will be allocated to Long Street for the upcoming financial year.

The officer is funded through a ward allocation budget for the 2016/17 financial year and will begin work in August, says ward councillor Dave Bryant.

“The provision made for this officer comes after requests for added bylaw enforcement in Long Street – especially the section between Wale Street and Buitensingel Street. The officer will concentrate specifically on combating aggressive begging, public nuisance complaints and traffic offences,” he says.

Muneeb Hendricks, safety and security manager for the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), says Long Street is a popular destination in its own right, and like any destination of its kind worldwide, it is a place that attracts opportunists looking to commit crimes, particularly pickpocketing, ATM fraud and aggressive begging.

“We therefore welcome any initiative that boosts the presence of law enforcement on our streets,” he says.

Long Street business funded almost a dozen “rent-a-cop” law enforcement officers at the end of last year to work on the popular street for three months (“Rent-a-cop for parties,” People’s Post, 15 December 2015) – a move which businesses reported brought great improvement to daytime safety along the stretch.

The rent-a-cop officers contribute to a visible law enforcement presence and have the authority to issue fines. This means they are able to regulate traffic, deal with non-compliant parkers and issue fines to sedan taxis that are not abiding by the Road Traffic Act. They are also able to conduct stop-and-search operations, searching for dangerous weapons and stolen items.

Bryant adds: “This officer will complement the existing team of CCID funded Law Enforcement officers in the CBD and will work with the CCID and police to make the area safer for all users. We have managed to reduce crime in the CBD by 90% over the past 10 years but more can still be done to improve traffic and public nuisance issues.”

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