Cape Town - 131002 - Crime in Long Street has allegedly risen. Pictured is Central City Improvement District (CCID) security. Reporter: Natasha Prince Picture: David Ritchie

Cape Town - Cape Town’s security officials have a new weapon in their arsenal to fight crime with at least 40 safety kiosks being erected at hot spots across the city.

The latest of these will be at the entrance of the Company’s Garden and is expected to “drastically reduce crime” in the area.

Several kiosks have gone up across the city in the past few years, with many more to come. Several are also set to go up in nearby rural areas in the province.

The latest safety kiosk was set to be handed over to the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) on Monday by the Department of Community Safety and relevant safety stakeholders. The kiosks enable communities to play an active role in identifying and resolving safety concerns.

In February, the Cape Argus reported on several incidents of robbery near the Company’s Garden, which is open daily from 7am to 7pm. It is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions and is situated behind Parliament, close to the Iziko South African Museum. Government Avenue is also a major thoroughfare, connecting pupils and office workers between the city centre’s transport hub, schools and places of work.

Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato was due to officially hand over the safety kiosk to the CCID.

CCID safety and security manager Muneeb Hendricks said continuing occurrences of cellphone theft and antisocial behaviour had led to the latest kiosk being erected at the Company’s Garden. He said many students had been intimidated and harassed in recent months, prompting the CCID to implement measures to combat crime and “restore the Company’s Garden to its former glory”.

“We plan for 20 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to receive an opportunity to man the kiosk during daylight hours. They would be given six- to nine-month stipends and gain job experience. We currently have 10 students. The CCID has employed three promising students and upskilled them with security training.

“We have strategically placed security along the Government Avenue stretch, which led to two arrests. There has (already) been a remarkable decrease in crime statistics and complaints in the Company’s Garden,” Hendricks said.

Professional CCID staff man the kiosks to fight crime and help train the students.

During the handover ceremony, Plato was set to hand a public safety certificate to Khumbuzile Vanya, a CCID intern who assisted police with the arrest of a man who fled the Iziko Museum last month. The man was charged with robbery and the possession of drugs.

The provincial government has invested more than R8 million into partnerships with city improvement districts whereby 418 young adults have benefited from job opportunities in the past four years.

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Cape Argus