File picture: Facebook

Cape Town - As tourism season approaches, it is also open season for criminals and tourist officials are warning visitors to be wary.

This after an international film crew was robbed by a knife- and spade-wielding gang at Peers Cave in Silvermine, a spot popular with tourists.

According to people who were at the park on Saturday afternoon, the film crew of about 10 people, with local assistants, were robbed of all their equipment and cellphones by a group of men. Local crimefighting volunteers searched the area but had no luck tracking the criminals down.

“Locals know many people have been mugged there, but tourists don’t know that is a hot spot as there is no board informing them. It is time SANParks (SA National Parks) reviews the safety of tourists and locals in public parks as these incidents will create a bad name for SouthAfrica,” said local Lauren Smith.

Smith said only two rangers were visible in the area, making it easy for people to be attacked.

Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said the matter was reported at the Fish Hoek Police Station and the circumstances are being investigated.

No one has been arrested yet.

SANParks spokesperson Merle Collins also confirmed the incident and said she would be able to comment on Monday.

Another Capetonian, Michael Wade, said SANParks was reluctant to increase security in notorious hot spots. “This is seriously ridiculous because people have been complaining, but seems they are not bothered. People are told to walk in large groups, those people were but look what happened. People cannot resort to posting the incidents on social media because nothing is being done. We are calling on them to start using drones.”

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said: “The impact of crime on locals and visitors alike is of great concern for all. We are actively seeking to reduce the opportunities for crime such as these to take place - we want tourists and locals to be safe Working closer with law enforcement by reporting these crimes helps track and monitor where and when incidents occur which, in turn, allows us to prioritise better interventions.”

Cape Argus