The Western Cape Government (WCG) have launched their own Tourism Safety Unit with Chrysalis graduates, while the City of Cape Town (CCT) announced the expansion of their Tourism Safety Unit which will respectively be focused on ensuring that residents and visitors receive important safety information about tourist attractions and services available. The units will also coordinate the optimal emergency deployment of resources and technology, in tourism hotspots areas frequented by both local and international tourists.
Tourism is a major contributor to both Cape Town and the Western Cape’s economy and provides significant job and skills development opportunities for residents.
Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis said the City’s Tourism Safety Unit was expanding as an integrated safety initiative aimed at ensuring residents, local visitors and international tourists can enjoy the many wonderful sights and attractions in Cape Town without having to worry about petty crime.
“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.” said the Cape Town Mayor.
The Western Cape Government’s unit will comprise of 26 Chrysalis graduates, while the City of Cape Town’s Tourism Safety Unit will now have 28 Law Enforcement Officers who will help curb fraudsters at ATMs through strategic deployment.
Visible foot patrols will be conducted at the Table Mountain Cableway, Lion’s Head hiking trails, curb opportunistic pickpockets and petty criminals at car parks and other high-traffic tourism hotspots within the CBD.
“If one becomes a victim of contact crime, one can provide a statement at one’s accommodation to City Tourism Unit officers, instead of at a SAPS station. Should trauma counselling be needed and if travel documentation such as passports are stolen, the process to acquire an emergency passport is activated through links with consulates.” he said.
‘The city unit has already achieved a considerable amount of success, coupled with the integrated CCTV support of the newly established Fusion Centre. 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,’ said Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.
Between 01 July 2021 – 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.
The units focus on tourism locations such as the Long Street, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town International Convention Centre and the Table Mountain Cableway.
They will also stretch to the Lion’s Head trails as well as the Grand Parade.
Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth said that through creative campaigns in key source markets together with strategic collaborations that have helped to land more flights than ever at Cape Town International Airport as well as thousands of cruise travellers, the Mother City is going to be buzzing with local and international tourists.
“The city has also worked consistently with partners to ensure that communities and attractions are ready to welcome visitors. This increase in tourism will boost the local economy and create job opportunities for many more Capetonians,’ said James Vos.