Keep­ing eye on beach­front

Se­cu­rity guards on bikes to en­sure visi­tors are safe 24 hours a day

Daily Dispatch - - News - BHONGO JA­COB

With the fes­tive sea­son mere weeks away, a team of se­cu­rity guards on bi­cy­cles have been de­ployed to make the East Lon­don beach­front safer.

The eight-mem­ber se­cu­rity team – clad in navy shorts and or­ange tops and armed with ba­tons and ra­dios – have been cy­cling along the Es­planade since the be­gin­ning of the month.

The project, which runs un­til the end of 2019, is worth R1m and has been awarded to Fal­colux Se­cu­rity So­lu­tions by Buf­falo City Metro (BCM). It forms part of the metro’s ef­forts to boost se­cu­rity at the beach­front.

Fal­colux Se­cu­rity So­lu­tions owner Max Ms­ing­wana said the team would op­er­ate 24hours, and would work with law en­force­ment and the po­lice to com­bat crime.

“We will make sure peo­ple are safe each and every minute when they visit the coast. That is why we have four guys pa­trolling dur­ing the day time and four guys who will be pa­trolling at night,” Ms­ing­wana said.

“Our staff mem­bers are qual­i­fied and some have more than five years ex­pe­ri­ence in the se­cu­rity in­dus­try.”

He said the ini­tia­tive would pro­tect tourists in the city.

“There are many tourists who come to our city and some get robbed while walk­ing along the beach­front.

“We want peo­ple to feel safe there and know that our city is a place that tourists will want to come back to. We want peo­ple to walk on our beaches at any time like peo­ple do in Cape Town and Dur­ban.”

Asked about the new se­cu­rity guards’ main func­tions, Ms­ing­wana said they would do also help ran­dom searches of sus­pi­cious peo­ple, of­fer med­i­cal at­ten­tion, trans­port tourists to their pre­ferred des­ti­na­tions at the coast, and crack down on pub­lic drink­ing.

“We have our of­fice there that has some­one who will help peo­ple with the ser­vices they will need. Some of our guys have first-aid train­ing. They are lo­cal, so they know the area and what to ex­pect in their job.

“One of the prob­lems we want to fight is drugs in the area. We will in­form po­lice when we see drug deal­ing hap­pen­ing there.” The group will closely mon­i­tor and fo­cus on pa­trolling ar­eas fre­quented by visi­tors, in­clud­ing pop­u­lar hang­out Ebuh­lanti and Eastern Beach.

“We did our re­search and we have iden­ti­fied a num­ber of crimes com­mit­ted in the area dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

“Ebuh­lanti is where a lot of peo­ple go but some­times there is no con­trol and peo­ple end up be­ing out of or­der.

“Some­times peo­ple are found in the morn­ing stabbed to death there.”

Ms­ing­wana ap­pealed to peo­ple to be­have re­spon­si­bly dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

“The bud­get we have now is only till next year and for the Es­planade. Maybe they [BCM] will see how this project goes now and ex­tend it to other ar­eas next year.”

Com­ment from mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Samkelo Ng­wenya was not avail­able by the time of go­ing to print.

Pic­ture: ALAN EASON

EX­TRA EYES: Se­cu­rity guards Sivuy­ile Sakela, front, and Terra Tem­bani Qasana, from Fal­colux Se­cu­rity So­lu­tions, pa­trol the East Lon­don Es­planade, in an ef­fort by BCM to keep the area safe for lo­cal visi­tors as well as tourists to en­joy.

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