ATM crimes drop

2018-02-13 06:01

A partnership to reduce ATM crime in the Central City is set to expand next month.

The provincial Department of Community Safety (Docs), in partnership with the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), will fund an additional 35 safety ambassadors to patrol 25 hotpots for ATM crime.

Docs currently funds 15 security officers, managed by the CCID, who are deployed to seven hotspot ATMs within the CBD. These seven ATMs were chosen due to high rates of fraud incidents being reported there.

The 25 hotspots that will now have officers deployed to them have been identified using intelligence gathered from cases reported to the police, as well as complaints from the hospitality industry and feedback from CCID public safety officers.

The CCID and Docs are part of a task force created by the provincial government specifically to investigate the province’s increasing ATM fraud, and which is using the Cape Town CBD as a pilot site to find the best solutions to roll out across the City and the province (“Task force goes to the ATM”, People’s Post, 12 June 2017).

The current project has been so successful that incidents at the seven hotspot ATMs have dropped from 50 over the 2016/2017 festive period to just two over the 2017/2018 period.

In addition, seven incidents were prevented during the hours of the team being deployed, says Muneeb Hendricks, CCID safety and security manager.

In a statement released by the CCID, Fred Watkins of security risk management at Docs says: “Identifying capable partners within communities is a critical element of the ‘whole of society’ approach to fighting crime and, as such, the efforts of the CCID within the Cape Town CBD must be
recognised. “The success achieved during December and January further demonstrates the importance of public/private partnerships. As of March, Docs and the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism will partner with the CCID to expand this project to 25 ‘hotspot’ ATMs in the CBD. This expansion will see 50 Chrysalis Academy graduates, trained in the safety and security field, deployed as safety ambassadors at these identified ATMs.”

The project focuses on crime prevention and education through the visible presence of and public engagement by the ambassadors deployed, explains Hendricks.

“We believe that just by having the student ambassadors from the Chrysalis Academy at the ATMs, it will provide a very visible presence in terms of ‘someone is
watching’. V Continued on page 3.

A partnership to reduce ATM crime in the Central City is set to expand next month.

The provincial Department of Community Safety (Docs), in partnership with the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), will fund an additional 35 safety ambassadors to patrol 25 hotpots for ATM crime.

Docs currently funds 15 security officers, managed by the CCID, who are deployed to seven hotspot ATMs within the CBD. These seven ATMs were chosen due to high rates of fraud incidents being reported there.

The 25 hotspots that will now have officers deployed to them have been identified using intelligence gathered from cases reported to the police, as well as complaints from the hospitality industry and feedback from CCID public safety officers.

The CCID and Docs are part of a task force created by the provincial government specifically to investigate the province’s increasing ATM fraud, and which is using the Cape Town CBD as a pilot site to find the best solutions to roll out across the City and the province (“Task force goes to the ATM”, People’s Post, 12 June 2017).

The current project has been so successful that incidents at the seven hotspot ATMs have dropped from 50 over the 2016/2017 festive period to just two over the 2017/2018 period.

In addition, seven incidents were prevented during the hours of the team being deployed, says Muneeb Hendricks, CCID safety and security manager.

In a statement released by the CCID, Fred Watkins of security risk management at Docs says: “Identifying capable partners within communities is a critical element of the ‘whole of society’ approach to fighting crime and, as such, the efforts of the CCID within the Cape Town CBD must be
recognised. “The success achieved during December and January further demonstrates the importance of public/private partnerships. As of March, Docs and the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism will partner with the CCID to expand this project to 25 ‘hotspot’ ATMs in the CBD. This expansion will see 50 Chrysalis Academy graduates, trained in the safety and security field, deployed as safety ambassadors at these identified ATMs.”

The project focuses on crime prevention and education through the visible presence of and public engagement by the ambassadors deployed, explains Hendricks.

“We believe that just by having the student ambassadors from the Chrysalis Academy at the ATMs, it will provide a very visible presence in terms of ‘someone is
watching’. 

“This will already substantially deter ATM fraud and is one of the main purposes of the exercise.

“They will give ATM users peace of mind. Plus, they are trained to provide the public with vital information on scams so that they are aware and alert, and do not fall victim to these in the first place,” he says.

The safety ambassadors will be managed by the CCID, explains Hendricks.

“Should there be any indication of a problem arising, or suspicious behaviour spotted, these ambassadors would also be in contact via two-way radio with the CCID’s 24-hour call centre and in close proximity to our own patrolling CCID public safety officers,” he says.

“[These officers can be on site pretty much immediately should the need arise.”

“It is important to understand that the students are ambassadors, say ­­Hendricks­.

“[They] will only play an educative and visible-presence role, reporting all suspicious activity to our own CCID public safety officers for further investigation, explains Hendricks.

“Even though most would have been trained on the basics of public safety, they are not themselves public safety officers.”

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