To curb opportunistic crime at popular tourist attractions within the Cape Town CBD this festive season, the Western Cape Government (WCG) launched its tourism safety unit with Chrysalis graduates today (Tuesday 29 November).
The City of Cape Town also announced the expansion of its tourism safety unit.
The WCG unit will comprise 26 Chrysalis graduates, while the City’s tourism safety unit will now have 28 law enforcement officers.
The separate units will be focused on ensuring that residents and visitors receive important safety information about tourist attractions and services available.
The units will also coordinate the emergency deployment of resources and technology.
Between 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 in the 2021/22 financial year, the city’s tourism safety unit made 15 arrests, assisted nearly 2300 persons with general matters, and attended to 854 complaints.
Visible foot patrols will be conducted at the Table Mountain Cableway, Lion’s Head hiking trails, and curb opportunistic pickpockets and petty criminals at car parks and other high-traffic tourism hotspots within the CBD.
They will focus on areas including Long Street, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Table Mountain Cableway, Lion’s Head trails and the Grand Parade.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says with the bumper festive season expected, visitor safety is crucial.
“Visible policing is but the most effective crime prevention activity, and the members of this unit will join the thousands of additional law enforcement officers we have deployed across the whole of Cape Town this year. We are expecting a bumper tourism season and we are doing everything we can to make sure that thousands of locals and international guests, can safely enjoy the summer season in our beautiful City.”
Ricardo Meyer, law enforcement tourism safety unit head, says since the unit's inception it has made great strides in combating crime.
This unit has made a massive improvement in minimizing crime in hotspots like Bo-Kaap, Grand Parade, Signal Hill and Table Mountain. We have arrested ATM fraudsters, we even located passports. Our common goal is tourism safety."
Reagan Allen, Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister, says: "I am delighted to celebrate that we have this unit that will go a long way towards making sure that tourists are safe but also that residents and locals are safe."JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, says: "With the added additional resources set to bolster the unit, we are confident we can again boast Cape Town as one of the world’s top travel destinations.”