Confine visits to Lion's Head, Signal Hill to daylight hours, urges SANParks
Enhanced safety measures needed due to rise in crime
SANParks has strongly urged tour operators and guides to limit activities on Signal Hill and Lion's Head to between sunrise and sunset due to an increase in crime at the tourist attractions in Cape Town.
“There is an increase in crime in these areas, causing concerns among both locals and international tourists,” Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) manager Megan Taplin wrote in a letter to tour operators.
“We understand the allure of these locations, especially during sunrise and sunset, but recent incidents have highlighted the need for enhanced safety measures.”
A recent knifepoint mugging victim in the northern section of the park was 31-year-old British long-distance runner and former army captain Tom Evans. He was robbed of his wedding ring, running watch and phone on Friday while training for the upcoming RMB Ultra Trail Cape Town (UTCT). The elite athlete decided to leave the country after his ordeal.
Though popular, Taplin advised tour operators to refrain from suggesting visitors go on full moon or night hikes on Lion's Head.
“This measure aims to strike a balance between allowing visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views and ensuring their safety during times when criminal activities may be more prevalent,” wrote Taplin.
“We want to reassure you that safety and security measures are in place with strong collaborative efforts between SANParks, the City of Cape Town law enforcement, the South African Police Service and many other stakeholders, but it is essential to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing the rising crime rates.”
UTCT race director Stuart McConnachie said after the Evans incident that security had been increased along the entire race route. The event takes place from November 24 to 26.
“We are extremely saddened and concerned by what happened to Tom Evans and have reached out to him to offer our support and access to counselling,” he said at the time. “We were excited to have him race at this year’s RMB Ultra-trail Cape Town, but respect his decision to return to the UK.”
Organisers expect more than 400 international runners to arrive in Cape Town and more than 2,000 runners to participate.
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