CBD festive season crime drops

2018-02-06 06:00
CCID-deployed City of Cape Town traffic wardens contributed to a safer festive season.

CCID-deployed City of Cape Town traffic wardens contributed to a safer festive season.

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A decline in major crimes in the Cape Town Central City over the 2017/18 festive season has been recorded by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID). In a statement released last week, the CCID attributes the drop in crime to increased deployment by all Law Enforcement agencies.

Muneeb Hendricks, CCID safety and security manager, says: “Along with the CCID’s own public safety team, teams from the police, and the City’s own Metro Police, Law Enforcement officers and traffic wardens all increased their deployments and worked together to achieve a common goal, to ensure that both local and visiting holidaymakers stay safe in the CBD.

“Our strategy – to use both CCID incident reports and police statistics to deploy officers to where they are needed most –? is proving to be highly effective. Most members are deployed on foot to create a visible presence which serves as a deterrent to crime. Events management has also been a priority, particularly over December, with all agencies deploying large numbers during major events such as the switching on of the festival lights, New Year’s Eve and the Cape Minstrel marches.”

Throughout the festive season, the CCID allocated an additional 10 staff members to concentrate on nighttime activity, while a special impact squad was also shifted to cover nighttime activity, concentrating on specific areas. This boosted the nighttime deployment by 22 members, says Hendricks.

Throughout the year, a minimum of 70 CCID public safety officers patrol the streets around the clock.

Hendricks notes that what has been particularly interesting this festive season is that there have been more local visitors to the CBD than usual.

“We believe that with the tough economy, some people chose to stay put as opposed to travelling over the festive period, and instead enjoy what Cape Town has to offer. We saw large numbers of locals descending on the Central City to enjoy the nightlife, from our restaurants to our pubs and clubs.”

Throughout the festive season, the three most prominent types of crime were theft out of vehicles, pickpocketing and ATM fraud. To deal specifically with ATM fraud, the CCID has been rolling out an ATM Fraud Pilot Project together with the Western Cape Government’s Department of Community Safety (Docs).

The ATM Fraud Project will continue in its current form until the end of February. The project currently involves Docs funding 15 security officers, which the CCID manages and deploys to seven hotspot ATMs within the CBD.

“With the new project, only two cases were recorded compared to the 50 cases during the same period last year within the areas of deployment, while seven incidents were successfully prevented during the hours of our team being deployed,” Hendricks says.

The six-member CCID-funded traffic warden team also played a vital role over the festive season, Hendricks says.

“While the CBD was quieter during the usual peak traffic hours, we were able to use the wardens to assist the City’s Traffic Department with point duties during major events. And when not on point duty, the wardens dealt with offences such as double parking, blocking of loading zones and parking on red and yellow lines. For December alone, non-moving traffic fines issued amounted to R763 800. The largest number of offences recorded included unlicensed vehicles or failure to display a licence (R141 500), parking in a loading zone (R160 000), and parking in a manner causing danger and obstruction (R227 000).”

Ward councillor Dave Bryant adds: “The ongoing cooperation between the City and the CCID has made a significant impact in improving the overall safety of the Cape Town CBD.”

Along with the work of the CCID, through ward allocation funding, Bryant sponsors one additional Law Enforcement officer dedicated to upper Long Street, which is considered the heart of the Central City’s entertainment district.

“This officer has made a significant impact in Long Street, issuing fines in excess of R75 000 a month on traffic and by-law offences,” Bryant says.

“As one of South Africa’s most congested cities, we will continue to have challenges relating to traffic management. However, we are committed to working with the CCID and other partners to help address these and other challenges facing the Central City, through targeted interventions.”

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