Feebearing - Cape Town - 150210 - The CCID has launched a new program today concerning the safety of school children leaving the school premises after class and travelling across the CBD. They are being targeted by thiefs for money and valuables. REPORTER: ILSE FREDERICKS. PICTURE: WILLEM LAW.

Cape Town - The Central City Improvement District (CCID) has launched a new campaign which will help to keep the thousands of students and pupils who study in, or pass through the CBD, safe.

According to the CCID, there are more than 15 000 pupils and students in the city centre every day, and chief operating officer Tasso Evangelinos said there were children as young as 6 taking public transport in the CBD and walking to school alone every morning.

“It’s only logical for us to be proactive and do as much as possible in the CBD to educate them on personal safety issues.”

CCID safety and security manager Muneeb Hendricks said he and members of his team were visiting schools and campuses in the CBD conducting safety presentations, which they hoped would help to prevent pupils and students from falling victim to crime.

“For older students, opportunistic crime is the biggest problem, because most of them walk around plugged into headphones, often texting on their phones, and paying very little attention to what is happening around them.

“It leaves them doubly vulnerable because they’re flashing expensive electronic equipment and they’re not aware of their surroundings.”

He said the young people were advised to be aware of their surroundings and also given tips on the importance of walking in groups and not taking short cuts, among other things.

Hendricks said that for university students the importance of not leaving drinks unattended and avoiding taking unregistered taxis were among the safety tips that were stressed.

“If a child, or anyone for that matter, feels threatened they should immediately find a policeman or a safety officer and stay with them until they are safe,” he said.

They can call the 24-hour control centre (if in the CBD) on 082 415 7172.

The safety officers can be identified by their green vests and caps with the CCID logo.

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Cape Argus