City’s 2010 anti-crime plan ‘will suc­ceed’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ZARA NI­CHOL­SON

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.

PIC­TURE: AYANDA NDAMANE

ON A MIS­SION: Law en­force­ment and Cen­tral City Im­prove­ment District se­cu­rity of­fi­cers con­duct a search in Long Street this week.

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