City’s 2010 anti-crime plan ‘will succeed’
SECURITY officials in the city centre are confident that an anti-crime plan for next year’s World Cup will be a success.
A clampdown on crime in the CBD has seen a 54% decrease in the number of arrests so far this year, compared to last year.
At its annual meeting this week, the Central City Improvement District (CCID) attributed the decrease to effective preventative operations.
The organisation’s crime-fighters have been boosted by the employment of eight city law enforcement officials working with the CCID’s 200 security officials.
In the past five months the eight law enforcement officers alone have made 361 arrests, issued 1 758 fines for the breaking of bylaws and issued 6 732 traffic fines.
The CCID security team helped make more than 5 500 arrests in the city centre in the past five months.
Chief operations officer Tasso Evangelinos said they were happy with their progress.
“The crime rate is very low and we have had fantastic results with a lot of our operations. The decrease in arrests is not because we are not doing our jobs, but because we have been pro-active and because of increased interaction with other stakeholders like businesses, police and metro police. We have also seen an increase in people abiding by the law.”
Speaking about special operations and plans for the duration of the World Cup, Evangelinos said they would not have a primary role in security and crime issues but would assist with the City of Cape Town’s plan, which is to be announced soon.
“I do not foresee a single problem in the city during the World Cup. I have no worries or concerns. The security plan is absolutely huge and I think Cape Town is going to pull out all the stops to ensure that we have a very safe and secure event.”
Lesley de Reuck, the city’s director of operations for the World Cup, would not divulge any details of the security and crime plan this week.
A media briefing is expected to take place in the next few weeks, at which mayor Dan Plato will give details of the plan for the final draw event on December 4, and for the World Cup itself which starts in June.
The City of Cape Town has, however, already indicated that it will have additional vehicles available, including seven fire engines, seven law enforcement vehicles, seven traffic motorcycles, as well as 124 fire fighters, 21 disaster management officers and 180 law enforcement officers in place for the event.
The city is also expanding its camera network programme with an additional 27 CCTV surveillance cameras in the city centre at a cost of R10m.
There are currently 84 cameras in the city centre, while the new Cape Town Stadium will have 177 cameras inside it.
Green Point Common and the proposed pedestrian route will have 14 cameras each.
“We have been very successful in catching culprits because of the CCTV cameras. They are among our biggest tools assisting us with reducing crime,” Evangelinos said.
He said the CCID held monthly meetings with all the security companies working in the city, where they discussed crime trends and changes in their measures and operations.
Evangelinos said there was not a specific area of concern as crime patterns changed continuously but the Senator Park complex in Long Street was a “serious problem” with drug peddling and prostitution taking place there.
A number of measures have been introduced to reduce the crime in the complex. Visitors are now no longer allowed into the building between 9pm and 8am.
Evangelinos said the drug syndicates operating in the city where “quite smart and sophisticated” and runners never carried large amounts of drugs on them.
Muneeb Hendricks, security manager of the CCID team and Cape Town Community Police Forum chairman, said they conducted daily stop-and-search, antiland invasion and informal trading compliance operations in the city.
They made between 100 and 120 arrests in the city centre each week.
Eighty percent of the arrests were for bylaw transgressions such as drinking in public, while 20% of arrests were for criminal activities, mainly drug possession and robbery.
ON A MISSION: Law enforcement and Central City Improvement District security officers conduct a search in Long Street this week.