Security ramped up in Table Mountain National Park

Jenna Etheridge, News24

Cape Town – Security has been ramped up in the Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town. And criminals should think twice before targeting mountain users.

This was the united message of the Table Mountain Safety Forum (TMSF), which was rejuvenated in August after renewed public interest in how authorities were tackling crime.

Co-operation between parties in the forum had already resulted in increased visible policing, and faster, more coordinated responses to incidents, according to a joint statement on Sunday.

The statement was sent out by TMSF chairperson Marc Truss, provincial community safety MEC Dan Plato, acting deputy provincial police commissioner Brigadier Norman Modishana, Table Mountain National Park manager Paddy Gordon and the city’s safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith.

“Most recently, the working of the TMSF helped to secure the arrest of suspects responsible for the mugging of two University of Cape Town students in November.”

The 14 police station commanders bordering the park, SANParks rangers, metro police, city law enforcement and other safety officials remained in constant contact to report and address risks to safety.

They had also increased their patrols on foot, horseback and in all-terrain vehicles.

In addition, SANParks continued to operate its 24-hour patrol in the park. More than 150 rangers patrolled in the day with dedicated service dogs. A smaller patrol operated at night.

Park officials had been deployed to the joint operations centre to assist with location confirmation.

In July, mugging victims claimed that when they phoned the police toll-free line, the operator allegedly had no idea where Lion's Head was.

Forum members agreed that those in trouble should phone the city’s emergency number (107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone).

Members of the public also had to play their part.

The forum said everyone should take responsibility for their own immediate safety and those around them.