Cape Town - Cape Town Improvement Districts (CCID) are urging the public to be wary of criminals who may be shadowing them.
Both the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) and the Cape Town Central City Improvement District have warned the public to take extra precautions tomorrow in anticipation of the flurry of activity at local shopping centres.
The VRCID covers the stretch between Parow shopping centre and the Bellville CBD, areas which experience the most footfall in the city.
VRCID CEO Derek Bock said: “As people come out to do their shopping on Black Friday, we are expecting to see more people walking around in the areas we cover. People tend to carry large sums of cash on them and relax their guard, allowing criminals looking to take advantage.
“We don’t want to see the day marred by violence and crime and that’s why we began warning residents and prospective shoppers earlier this week to take precautions when visiting malls around this time.
“We even sent out a list of dos and don’ts to prevent people falling victim to being mugged, because we cannot wholly prevent these incidents from occurring by ourselves,” said Bock.
Aside from the usual patrols, the VRCID will on Friday work in conjunction with the City’s Law enforcement and Saps to monitor the areas it covers, and give extra attention to its CCTV monitors, which are placed strategically to cover both Parow and Bellville.
“We are advising people to avoid carrying cash; rather use a bank card. To not walk alone, stay in groups of five or more, to not use a phone in public, rather to tuck it away while moving about, and to please be wary of strangers asking for the time or directions, as they may be trying to get your guard down.
“Carry pepper spray and make sure it’s visible,” said Bock.
Meanwhile, in the Cape Town CBD, the CCID said it will be monitoring the situation when shoppers descend on shops in town to make their purchases.
CCID safety and security manager Muneeb Hendricks said: “CCID public safety officers will out in full force on Friday (tomorrow)and will be looking out for people making and carrying big purchases so that they don’t become the victims of opportunistic crimes.
“However, we are urging the public to be vigilant and to be aware of their surroundings and suspicious people.
“People should also take care when withdrawing cash from ATMs so that they don’t fall prey to ATM scammers.
“Once they have made purchases, they should not leave them in their cars in full view of the public and then head off to make their next purchase, as they stand a chance of having the items stolen.