Tourism sector fears for safety in 2010<br> (was<br>
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Tourism sector fears for safety in 2010

Postby Leitmotif » Tue, 2006-11-21 10:31

Tourism sector fears for safety in 2010

November 21 2006 at 08:44AM

By Amelia Naidoo

Tour operators were not convinced that police were winning the war on crime, despite government assurances that tourist-related crime had decreased, the annual provincial tourism conference in Durban heard on Monday.

In a segment on security preparations for the Fifa soccer 2010 World Cup, Ismail Nxumalo, Manager of Community Policing in the Community Safety and Liaison Department, told the conference that the number of policemen in KwaZulu-Natal would increase by 2 700 members to 20 793 by 2008.

Other law-enforcement agencies - including the Durban Metro Police and the Road Traffic Inspectorate - would also increase their staff complements by 2010. The number of RTI officers would increase from 1 020 to 1 270, while the increase in the strength of the Metro Police, which stood at 1 093, was still being discussed.

'Uncompromising' security
Nxumalo said that, contrary to the opinions of tour operators and others in the tourism industry, there had been a remarkable decrease in crime incidents related to tourists.

He said crime had decreased from 246 incidents in the 2004/2005 financial year to 144 incidents in 2005/2006.

However, those attending the conference were unconvinced and complained that it was difficult to remain positive when crime was rife.

One tour operator recalled an experience where three separate mugging incidents in the South Beach area were reported by his group of 11 tourists. Another delegate said that it was misleading to international tourists when authorities promoted areas such as the Golden Mile as safe areas when crime was still rife.

Nxumalo said his department was aiming to provide a safe and secure environment for the World Cup by providing "uncompromising" security and limiting the possibility of dangerous incidents by planning well.

Law enforcement agencies would play a role in this by:

# Implementing visible policing. Crime prevention would be curbed by protecting routes to and from match venues and accommodation.

# Having an area crime combating unit in place to manage the crowds.

# Using bomb disposal and dog units to look out for bomb threats, suspicious parcels.

# Having the Border Police and Department of Home Affairs help in ensuring the safety of dignitaries at air and sea ports and along the coast.

# Ensuring the air force provided air support and had an air defence strategy.

# Enlisting the help of the Special Task Force and National Intervention Unit to protect dignitaries.

# Using detectives to investigate cases, attend crime scenes and arrange special courts.

The SAPS would attend to the influx of people and vehicles to the major tourist spots in KwaZulu-Natal, with a focus on the Durban North policing area under whose jurisdiction the ICC and the beaches fell, said Nxumalo.

o This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on November 21, 2006
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