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Camps Bay police issues stern warning for beachgoers to take care of their children

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Police cautions beachgoers to take care of their children on Cape beaches. PHOTO: supplied
Police cautions beachgoers to take care of their children on Cape beaches. PHOTO: supplied

As holiday makers flock to beaches across the city Camps Bay police cautions parents to ensure they keep their children safe.

According to Capt Keith Chandler, Camps Bay Police Station Commander, last year they had more than 30 children who got lost on the beach.

“Our biggest problem is lost children. Last year we had 33 lost children. This is because parents were under the influence.”

The City’s social development and early childhood development department says it’s all set to implement the annual Identikidz programme to create a safer environment at 16 beaches during the peak festive season days.

On arrival at the beach, caregivers can get their children registered and kitted out with a wristband containing relevant contact details, should they get lost on the beach.

Patricia van der Ross, the Mayco member for community services and health, says the City provides the service and works closely with other relevant agencies in instances where children need to be reunited with their caregivers, but says beachgoers need to play their part.

“When you arrive at one of the participating beaches, find the registration point and get your children tagged. But it’s also important to note that signing up for Identikidz does not absolve you of your responsibility to look after minors in your care. The programme is an added layer of protection in the event that you are separated from your child.”

She says the Identikidz project will be implemented at Big Bay, Camps Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Harmony Park, Fish Hoek, Lagoon Beach, Melkbosstrand, Milnerton, Mnandi, Monwabisi, Muizenberg, Sea Point and surrounds, Silwerstroom, Strandfontein and Strand between 09:00 and 18:30 on the following dates:

  • Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 December
  • Saturday 24 until Monday 26 December
  • Saturday 31 December
  • Sunday 1 January
  • Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January
  • Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January
  • Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January

The project will also run at Maiden’s Cove on Monday 26 December and Sunday 1 and Monday 2 January.

Branded booths will be stationed at participating beaches where children’s details will be recorded. The waterproof wristbands will have a unique number on it which is recorded next to the details of the children during registration.

During the previous festive season (16 December 2021 – 10 January 2022) Identikidz staff assisted and tagged 98 232 children and reunited 338 with their families.

“We also remind the public that safety on the beach includes safety in the water. Our four non-negotiable rules are to not drink and swim, to be aware of rip currents, to swim only in the demarcated areas where lifeguards are present, and most importantly, do not leave children unsupervised,” added Van der Ross.

Chandler says their busiest days are from 16 December to 2 January with about 30 000 people expected to flock to the area during this time.

“Our five busiest days are the 16th, 26th, 31st December and 1 and 2 January. In conjunction with metro police, law enforcement and traffic services we have extra deployment for those specific days. I implore people to be vigilant on the beach. It is a blue-flag beach. No glass, alcohol and dogs are allowed on the beach.”

He urges people to leave their valuable items at home.

“Look after your items at the beach and do not bring valuables to the beach.

Theft is our biggest crime here, we often have cases of cellphones and laptops being stolen.”

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