The efforts of the Table Mountain safety forum have resulted in a safer festive season for visitors.
Forum chairperson Marc Truss says although the final figures are not yet available, it has been “a very good season” considering the large increase in visitors to Table Mountain National Park (TMNP).
Only a few incidents of crime have been reported in the park, he says.
Truss believes general safety improved in the park compared to the previous year’s festive season, due to increased prevention work. However, areas bordering the park remain a concern, such as recent rapes at Rhodes Memorial.
There were 23 incidents of crime in or around Table Mountain reported to the Cape Town Central police over December and January, says police spokesperson Captain Ezra October. Almost half of these were theft out of cars.
These figures are roughly the same as the previous year, October says.
Truss says there was an increase in medical incidents with visitors requiring treatment for dehydration due to the extreme heat this season.
The regenerated Table Mountain safety forum has seen safety concerns on Table Mountain addressed in a cooperative way by all authorities responsible for safety in the park, as well as by interest and user groups using Table Mountain daily.
The forum was initially created in 2011 in response to an increase in crimes reported in the park.
Since the beginning of last year, incidents of crime on and around the mountain renewed public interest in the authorities’ attempts to curb crime.
The relaunched Table Mountain safety forum has a wider variety of representatives on board. It comprises senior representatives from Sanparks, police, provincial government, the City of Cape Town, improvement districts, Cape Town tourism bodies and various user groups.
Crime remains the most common safety concern in relation to the mountain, says TMNP spokesperson Merle Collins.
“The safety forum in itself has been formed to roll out crime prevention strategies and serves as a regular platform for all law enforcement agencies to come together,” she says.
WhatsApp groups for crime alerts, regular patrols to boost visibility and all law enforcement agencies “generally sharing information and working together” are some of the measures in place, Collins says.