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Media Release: TMNP Visitor Safety Plan: Update

Date: 25th April 2006

TMNP has enjoyed great success with its visitor safety program, which was introduced at the end of 2004. As a result, risk assessments are now underway in SANParks’ 21 other national parks around the country, with a view to implementing TMNP’s visitor safety plan, where applicable.

Some of the steps that Table Mountain took in 2004 to improve visitor safety, after numerous attacks include:

• Deployment of 48 visitor safety officers, backed up by dozens of volunteers
• Dog patrols
• Partnerships with established security agencies, like SAPS and the City Police.
• CCTV coverage of Signal Hill.

The impact shows in the number of reported incidents. Between October, 2004 and January, 2005 there were 23 incidents reported, with 7 arrests. Between October, 2005 and February, 2006, there were 4 incidents, with 9 arrests.

In January, we appointed an additional 18 visitor safety rangers to patrol the park, boosting our overall staff complement to 66. At the moment, we have one fixed camera on Signal Hill, which is monitored by the City of Cape Town. Two additional cameras should be in place at Lion’s Head and Kloofnek by the end of April. We also have a mobile CCTV unit, which is proving very useful, and are looking at the possibility of acquiring more of these units. TMNP is also in the process of training our own dog handlers. At the moment, dog patrols are outsourced, but we hope to have at least 4 of our own staff members trained as dog handlers by May, and to increase that total to 10 by October.

It is important to reiterate though, that because TMNP is an open access park surrounded by the City of Cape Town, we face an ongoing challenge of dealing with criminals that operate within the City, and who, from time to time move into areas of the Park directly abutting the City. Walkers are therefore  urged to be cautious of walking alone or carrying valuables and requested to immediately report suspicious looking characters to the Cape Town shared services control centre at 021 – 957 4700, who will contact Park rangers on duty.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Janine Willemans
TMNP Communications Manager
021 – 701 8761
083 326 5677

OR

Paddy Gordon
TMNP Area Manager, North
021 – 701 8750
082 888 0353

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