Western Cape launches safety units for tourism hotspots

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The Western Cape is set to experience a bumper summer season.

Statistics for October shows significant growth across local and international flights, accommodation bookings and visitor numbers at tourism attractions.

The province and the City of Cape Town say the safety of tourists is paramount for the sector’s recovery.

They’ve jointly launched Tourism Safety Units for the deployment to tourist hotspots.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Safety and Security, JP Smith, says the tourism hotspots include Long Street, the Grand Parade, Table Mountain Cableway and the V&A Waterfront.

“Twenty-six tourism safety units, these are municipal law enforcement peace officers. They have the powers of arrest and search and seizure, and they are then supported by 28 graduates from the provincial chrysalis academy which are young people who have been trained in various policing disciplines and who are recruited by the city into our services but also by a variety of other projects such as recruiting them into community service centres to support the SAPS.”

Smith further says: “If one becomes a victim of contact crime, one can provide a statement at one’s accommodation to City Tourism Unit officers, instead of at a SAPS station. Should trauma counselling be needed and if travel documentation such as passports are stolen, the process to acquire an emergency passport is activated through links with consulates.”