Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is making strides to improve their safety efforts for residents. A new aerial patrol resource has been introduced to prevent crime.

In a Facebook post, Parkscape announced that a green and yellow SANParks helicopter will patrol the Park, including Rhodes Memorial, Hout Bay and Tokai. This forms part of an attempt to address crime and security issues within TMNP.

This comes after years of residents calling for better security measures. Many hikers have endured heinous acts at the hands of ruthless criminals in the Park. Most famously, Blessing Bveni, also known as the ‘Table Mountain Killer’, was found guilty of killing two people in the Park in 2018.

On December 3, 2020, Bveni (33) was found guilty on 10 charges which included murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery and contravention of the immigration act.

Beyond physical crimes, many fires are accidentally started in the area by vagrants, like the massive fire that broke out in Deer Park on October 31. According to the fire manager for Table Mountain National Park, Phillip Prins, many informal communities have been established within the park, posing an ongoing problem.

“After many years of public outcry about crime in the Park, it is good to see SANParks finally upping its game, and accepting one aspect of the reality of managing an urban national park,” said Parkscape in a statement. “We sincerely hope that this initiative is part of a long-term/permanent solution to addressing crime and the safety and security of both the Park (its fauna and flora) and its diverse range of users and stakeholders. We look forward to further initiatives from the new “mega security centre”.”

Parkscape still urge residents to be mindful of their own safety and to follow their standard safety protocols:

– Please do not walk or jog alone at off peak hours.

– Avoid walking or jogging at off peak hours.

– Walk or jog in groups.

– Do not carry valuables or a backpack.

– Do not wear headphones ( you need to be aware of the sounds around you).

– Avoid the core conservation site where visibility is poor and known dodgy characters have been seen lingering during the past few weeks.

– Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

– Trust your instincts.

– In the event of an incident do not fight back.

– Install the Buzzer and Namola apps on your phone

Picture: SANParks

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