Statement by the Table Mountain Safety Forum
25 February 2013
In early 2011, following a spate of attacks on Table Mountain users, the Western Cape Government called on various government entities and civil society organisations to come together and create a partnership to improve safety on our most prominent natural attraction. Out of this, the Table Mountain Safety Forum (TMSF) was created. Since the inception of the Forum, crime on the mountain has reduced drastically. Through this partnership, we are making safety on our mountain better, together.
Between 2011 and 2012, the number of crimes perpetrated against mountain users reduced by 50%. In fact, from October 2011 and until January 2013, there was not a single reported criminal incident against a mountain user in the areas on Table Mountain where Forum members are active (in the City Bowl between Signal Hill to Devils Peak and Camps Bay). Unfortunately, between January and February there were a total of 3 incidents of robbery and attempted robbery in these areas, and the Forum has immediately responded to this by increasing its activity with SANPARKS rangers, SAPS officers on horseback and on vehicle patrol, neigbourhood watch patrols and through aerial surveillance, as well as through the eyes and ears of bikers, hikers and walkers. Given that the Cable Way reported record numbers, some 120 000 rides in December alone, incidents are few and far between.
The Table Mountain Safety Forum has representatives from SANPARKS, the Department of Community Safety, SAPS and law enforcement agencies, as well as a number of civil society formations and takes a holistic approach to maximizing available resources to ultimately increase safety on the mountain. The forum focuses on:
- Incident management and data analysis
- Boosting volunteerism
- Effective communication – how soon can information be dispatched, to whom and how quickly can a response be initiated
- Victim support services
- The use of technology to complement the existing operations
- Community involvement – neighbourhood watches and CPFs
- Monitoring and evaluation
The primary incidences are thefts and attempted thefts from vehicles left for long periods in parking lots near popular mountain trails. We urge members of the public not to leave any valuables inside their vehicles and to report any suspicious activities. While on the mountain, to report any suspicious activity or to report a crime or emergency, the SANPARKS emergency number is available on 0861 106 417. The popular City Bowl mountain trails have now all been marked, and the number is displayed on these boards. Maps of trails are also available at bike shops, coffee shops or online www.tablemountainbikers.co.za with a QR code for your phone. Most importantly, we call on all members of the public that do experience incidences of crime to report them, as this will allow police officers to intervene and reduce crime into the future.
Chairperson: Table Mountain Safety Forum
Tel: 082 560 0684
Regional Communications Manager: Cape Region
Tel: 072 627 3910 / 021 689 4441