With some two million tourists expected to visit the Mother City over the 2014/2015 summer period and most of them spending time in the CBD, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has launched its annual campaign to make tourists aware of basic safety during their time “down time”.
Every year the CCID implements proactive security interventions using its partnerships with law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and secure Central City throughout summer and the accompanying festive season.
Tasso Evangelinos, the Chief Operating Officer of the CCID says: “The CCID’s Safety and Security department works closely with the South African Police Service and City’s Law Enforcement to ensure that we have a safe and secure Central City. The CCID’s Public Safety Officers are deployed in the CBD 24/7.”
Along with its regular brochure distributions throughout the CBD on the street and at venues such from retailers and restaurants and accommodation venues, the CCID is once again this year reminding locals and visitors alike to “Stash it, Don’t Flash it”. If you are a victim of crime:
The campaign is being rolled out through street posters across the area, reminding motorists to be aware of leaving valuables in sight inside cars, and asking people on the street to be aware of pickpockets.
The CCID’s “Welcome to the Cape Town Central City” brochure includes tips about what to do should do first and foremost to stay safe in various situations, from being in your hotel room or out and about in the street, but also provides information as to who to contact should a crime occur. It also gives information on how to deal with aggressive begging and how, instead, to “Give Responsibly” to one of the CCID’s partner NGOs through a simple SMS donation line.
Some of the tips for visitors and residents who are out and about include advice about not leaving handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks.
For those who may encounter aggressive begging, tips on how to deal with this include making contact with one of the CCID’s many Public Safety Officers deployed throughout the Cape Town CBD to assist people if they feel at all threatened.
Says Evangelinos: “Our officers can be easily spotted by the distinctive black and green uniforms they wear with the CCID logo prominently displayed. Their primary role is to assist the public so we ask that people do not hesitate to approach them.”
On the streets, visitors are advised to be sensible and not walk in deserted or dark areas. Good advice also includes keeping all possessions close and out of sight, not using cell phones while walking, and keeping mobile phones and wallets safely tucked away.
Says Evangelinos: “Common sense plays a big part in staying safe. For example, we often see people walking around with headphones on, listening to music, and this could distract them from what’s happening around them. ”
Advice to drivers Cape Town’s Central City includes ideas such as having your keys ready as you approach your car, always ensuring you’ve locked your car doors properly before moving away from your car and parking in well-lit areas at night.
• Stay calm, do not panic
• Don’t resist – follow all instructions
• Try and remember the description/characteristics of the criminal
• Report the crime immediately to the CCID or SAPS. Along with the CCID’s hotline and on-the-ground PSOs, there are also a number of 24/7 CCID-branded mobile kiosks across the CBD.
Keep a list of these 24/7 emergency numbers for the Cape Town Central City on your cell phone and share them with your friends and family.
• CCID 24 hour safety & security 082 415 7127
• SAPS 021 467 8001/2
• City’s Metro & Traffic Police 0860 765 423
• Emergency ambulance, health, noise & fire 107 (landlines)/ 021 480 7700
• Social Development – Adults 0800 872 201
• Social Development – Children 0800 220 250.Hotel safety tips:
• Place your valuables/passport in a hotel safe
• Never leave your possessions unattended
• Lock the door when you are in your room
• Don’t open the door without first checking who it is
• Never leave cash or valuables lying around when you are not in the room
• Don’t leave your belongings unattended at the pool, in the gym or in public spaces.Safety tips when driving:
• Keep your doors locked at all times
• Know where you are going by planning your route and/or use a navigation device
• Park in well-lit areas at night
• Keep enough distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you
• Don’t pick-up hitchhikers or strangers
• Be alert at intersections and avoid giving handouts – rather donate to via the CCID’s “Give Responsibly” campaign to an NGO in the CBD that makes a difference to the lives of homeless people. SMS “Give” to 38088 to make a R10 donation.
• Never open your window when approached by a stranger
• If you think you are being followed, drive to a busy location or a police station
• Don’t keep any items visible on the seat of your vehicle, either when driving or after you have parked your car
• When locking by remote, make sure that your car is actually locked.
Safety tips when walking around the CBD or using public transport:
• Plan your route before you set out on an excursion - the new street names and numbering system which is starting to appear on street posts in the CBD (Loop, Long & Bree Streets are the first to be implemented) makes it easier to find your destination. Try using Google Maps and Google Streetview to get around with confidence
• Don’t walk down poorly lit streets
• Keep your handbag and possessions close to your body
• Don’t carry large sums of money and avoid counting it in open view of passersby
• If you do use a taxi, select only registered, metered taxis. They are required to display permits on their dashboards
• Get around the CBD safely by planning your route when using public transport and the MyCiTi bus service
• Never accept help from strangers at the ATM.
Safety tips when socialising:
• Don’t leave handbags under tables or on the back of your chair
• Don’t leave cell phones or wallets on restaurant tables
• Be vigilant when handing your credit card over to make a payment
• Don’t leave drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers.