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Residents urged to play ball for safer festive season<p>​The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate today outlined its operational readiness for the peak festive season period. </p> <figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>With three long weekends in the offing and temperatures soaring, the City’s Metro Police Department, Traffic Services, Disaster Risk Management Centre, Law Enforcement Department and Fire and Rescue Service are gearing up for a very busy festive season period.</p> Some of the measures introduced over the period include:<br><br> <ul><li>Increased staff levels at all beaches, other public spaces, and shopping malls</li><li>Ongoing roadblocks by the Integrated Roadblock Unit to clamp down on drunk driving and other violations</li><li>Integrated operations with the South African Police Service to combat gang violence in identified high-risk areas</li><li>The introduction of seasonal firefighters to assist with combating wildfires</li><li>Operation Exodus to monitor vehicle and driver fitness, especially for long-distance trips</li><li>Free vehicle safety checks </li><li>The use of various technological platforms like CCTV to monitor and log incidents (pictured)</li></ul><p>Some of the statistics collated since 1 December 2016 are already cause for concern. There have been five confirmed fatal drowning incidents at City beaches – one at Monwabisi, one at Mnandi, two at Strand, and one at Wolfgat. Two other incidents where bodies were recovered (Zeekoevlei and Llandudno) are under investigation by the South African Police Service.</p><p>The City’s Law Enforcement Department has confiscated 3 546 litres of alcohol from beaches and at events, and in the first two days of Operation Exodus the City’s Traffic Service recorded in excess of 7 000 speeding offences on the major roadways.</p><blockquote cite=""><p> ​<em>"Many of the safety and enforcement headaches that we deal with every festive season are the result of reckless behaviour by the public and a complete lack of accountability. It’s common cause by now that the use of alcohol is prohibited in public spaces, so why are we still confiscating so much alcohol from people? Road safety too is the responsibility of road users. There have been 28 fatalities in the first 12 days of December – 19 of them pedestrians. We really can’t do this without the help of the public. Residents need to start taking responsibility for their own safety."</em><b>Alderman JP Smith</b><cite>City Mayoral Committee Member: Safety and Security</cite></p></blockquote><p>As in previous years, the City will once again be going the extra mile to keep children safe on the beaches. The Disaster Risk Management Centre and Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate have teamed up to coordinate the Identikidz Programme. This means that parents and caregivers can register their children when they arrive at participating beaches. An armband is issued to the child, bearing the contact details of their parent or caregiver. In the event that the child is separated from their family, this then helps City staff or the police to reunite the child with their family. In the event that a child’s family is not tracked down by the end of the day, the child will be handed over to the Western Cape Department of Social Development.</p><p>The City has secured the services of 40 Disaster Risk Management staff members, 16 Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate staff members, and 53 volunteers from the Chrysalis Academy. They are currently on duty at eight beaches, with a view to rolling this programme out at more beaches should resources allow.</p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong></p>2016-12-13T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#d5141e36-ff62-46df-b0f1-9b4b0b021e67;L0|#0d5141e36-ff62-46df-b0f1-9b4b0b021e67|readiness for the peak festive season;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#91b32b75-e5b2-4c6f-aa36-8403fd64d234;L0|#091b32b75-e5b2-4c6f-aa36-8403fd64d234|Identikidz Programme;GPP|#d5141e36-ff62-46df-b0f1-9b4b0b021e67;GP0|#bd01eb1e-7d40-47f8-913c-811c687e6ce1;L0|#0bd01eb1e-7d40-47f8-913c-811c687e6ce1|Beaches1


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