SAPS rolls out new tourist safety initiative

SAPS rolls out new tourist safety initiative

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says the police will in future focus on prevention rather than reaction when it comes to the fight against crime.

Bheki Cele
Twitter: Department of Tourism

The Department of Tourism and the police announced a joint initiative in Pretoria on Friday to reduce crimes committed against tourists during the upcoming festive season.


Ministers Mmamaloko Kubayi-Ngubani and Bheki Cele were joined by Sitole in outlining some of the safety initiatives.


Sitole said a special stabilisation plan has been implemented to identify all potential hot-spot areas.


"We have identified all hot-spot areas where tourists are becoming victims of crime and one of the biggest hot-spots is Mpumalanga.


"But in terms of this stabilisation plan, we have relied on force multiplier to be able to provide a response but also prevention as well as visibility.”


Some more measures include a rapid response task team for tourists have been victims of crimes and establishing a reserve police force focusing on tourists.


"We are going to equip them in terms of them being able responding to various crime so that when they deal and interact with tourist they provide protection,” Sitole explained.


He said it’s not enough for police to react to crimes already committed since it puts the country in a bad light.


"We resort to preventing those crimes rather than reacting because when we become reactive by the time we respond the economy shall have been affected one way or another.


"We want to protect and sustain the contribution by tourism to the grand economic strategy of the country."

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