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Media Release: TMNP rangers arrest a mugger on Lion’s Head

Date: 6th April 2009

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) visitor safety rangers arrested and handed over to the SAPS a suspect, who was caught with stolen goods, on Saturday, 4 April 2009.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) visitor safety rangers arrested and handed over to the SAPS a suspect, who was caught with stolen goods, on Saturday, 4 April 2009. The suspect was caught within an hour of the incident being reported to the TMNP, with the help of the Park’s dog unit. A second suspect managed to escape and he is still at large. The victims have laid a charge at the Cape Town Central Police Station.

The suspect had mugged a couple of their personal belongings after 19:00 on Lion’s Head on Saturday (4 April 2009).

Recently, Table Mountain National Park reported that its partnership with the SAPS has resulted in the year-on-year reduction in crime committed in the Park. The Park recorded the lowest number of incidents during the past festive season, since the Park formally adopted a visitor safety strategy five years ago.

The Park credits its continually improving partnership with the police and improved efficiencies that include:

  • The use of the SANParks helicopter in February this year. Information gathered from the aerial perspective includes escape routes, vulnerable spots, hideouts and vantage points, which could be potentially used by criminals. The information enables effective deployment and patrol strategies.
  • The TMNP Dog Unit – five highly trained dogs and handlers that are effectively part of the ongoing patrols. The dogs, in addition to their speed and agility, have proven to be a deterrent to crime.
  • The TMNP Kloofnek command and control centre is the dispatch and deployment point for all TMNP-led crime-combating operations and liaises with the Cape Town Central police station to dovetail operations.
  • The 52-member Visitor Safety Ranger team that continues to perform uniformed policing as well as covert operations. The team works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Fleet used by the team has been increased to include vehicles that are more suitable for the terrain and the work done and this is already proving to be a key enabler.
  • Access management at both Tafelberg and Signal Hill roads continues as it had effectively reduced crime in these areas.
  • A better equipped 24 hour visitor information centre in the parking area at the bottom of Tafelberg Road.
  • Setting up a TMNP helpline and the ongoing training of the staff who man the call centre. Visitors are able to call the Park’s helpline at 086 110 6417, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Although the programme primarily focused on the security of visitors, the safety of tourists on the mountain chain remains a priority and a “Safe Hiking Brochure” with safety tips for hikers, is disseminated to them via the Park’s and Cape Town Tourism information centres.

The park continues to work with volunteers, who unselfishly give their time and share their expertise with Park management, to complement observation and communication operations.

Inquiries:
Phumeza Mgxashe, Communications Manager, Table Mountain National Park, Tel: (021) 701 8692, Cell: 083 480 1522, e-mail: phumezam@sanparks.org
Sup Randall Stoffels, SAPS – Cape Town Central Police Station, Cell: 082 469 1835

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