Anticipating thousands of visitors to flock to the Atlantic Seaboard over the festive season, the City of Cape Town recently launched its festive season safety and security plan.
And, said Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell, security and waste management are top priorities during this time.
“There is an additional 16 officers for Law Enforcement for the Atlantic Seaboard which is a great boost to the numbers,” she said.
“This will significantly increase the visibility and by-law enforcement in the ward. The electric bicycles for Law Enforcement have been a great addition and today again a resident reported seeing the two officers on the bikes affecting an arrest.”
Ms Jowell added that Law Enforcement was there to help SAPS and that visibility was important to deter crime.
“Alcohol in public spaces continues to be a significant problem and we have already seen thousands of units being confiscated from the beaches and Promenade. If we can remind all visitors to not bring alcohol with them to the beaches and recreational sites as sadly the use of alcohol in these spaces significantly increases drownings, anti-social behaviour and also littering,” she said.
Heather Tager, chairperson of the Sea Point Community Police Forum (CPF), said the group was operationally ready and planned to collaborate with law enforcement and private security firms to combat crime.
“The festive season has always been a challenging time with an increase of visitors. Crime can happen anywhere and most of the crimes that target visitors are petty crimes and this can be avoided by planning and vigilance,” said Ms Tager.
She added that the CID would use License Plate Recognition and Overview Camera System (LPR) to help combat crime.
“Leaflets containing safety tips will be distributed at various points,” she said.
And providing some safety tips, she added: “In restaurants, keep valuables on your person or within eye contact as cellphones left on the table or bags hung on the back of chairs or placed on the floor is easy prey, don’t use your cellphone while walking, don’t leave anything visible in your vehicle, check all doors are locked manually to avoid remote jamming, be vigilant at the ATM.”
According to Frans van Rooyen, Table Mountain National Park manager, a two-day campaign last week focused on crime, fire safety, hiking do’s and don’ts, and park-related issues on the mountain.
“As we head into the busy season where we anticipate a large influx of visitors in the park, there are some challenges that tend to arise and we as the park would like to proactively create awareness of preventative measures that visitors should be aware of as they enjoy their time on the iconic mountain.”
According to the NSRI, they are ready 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and have 1400 unpaid volunteers on standby at nearly 50 rescue stations across the country and on inland waters.
“The biggest danger that bathers face at a beach is rip currents. Rip currents are hard to spot for the untrained eye and we, therefore, say that the best decision one can make when choosing which beach to go to is to make sure that lifeguards are on duty. If there are no lifeguards on duty is safest not to swim. Make sure that you take some food for energy, plenty of water and of course sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Wearing a hat is always a good idea,” said Dr Jill Fortuin, executive director of drowning prevention.