The MID has been working closely with Law Enforcement on brainstorming solutions to improve public safety and security in the area. One area identified has been the Muizenberg St. James Catwalk and how this links with the MID area.
The challenge of patrolling the catwalk has always been the elevated railway line and the Main Road being out of sight. Hindering observation of suspicious behaviour that impacts on safety and security for those enjoying the recreational space. Often ideas come about during random conversations and brainstorming about many ways in which urban management impacts on the perception of safety and opportunity for criminal activity.
We know that catwalk patrols have not deterred criminal activity, and thus set out to identify a site that will allow for an elevated observation and communications point of activity on and around the catwalk between Muizenberg and St. James. Bailey’s Cottage was identified as the ideal spot.
The MID engaged with the lessee of Bailey’s Cottage, and together with Law Enforcement and Kalk Bay St. James SRA, conducted a site visit on 13 March, place-making. The area most vulnerable are what we’ve come to term as “no-man’s land” – outside the boundaries of both improvement districts. This however has not prevented the MID from activating an implementation plan with Law Enforcement taking the lead.
The outcome of the site meeting on 13th March.
- Permission for Law Enforcement to secure an elevated operational hub at Bailey’s Cottage that will allow for observation of both the catwalk, the railway reserve and the Main road. This will be implemented before the end of this week.
- Improved lighting at the subway near Bailey’s Cottage.
- Site clean-up at the area opposite Rhodes Cottage – Metrorail/PRASA the key partner for action, and will require community support. This is the same site.
- An elevated hut at St. James beach that allows for clear line of sight across the catwalk – another elevated operational hub for Law Enforcement.
Safety is everyone’s business and we encourage the community to observe their surroundings and look at ways to improve their areas. Be it a litter clean-up, painting over tagged spaces or participating in group walks to increase safety or joining the local neighbourhood watches. A site visit and safety plan implementation from law enforcement authorities is but a small part of the solution to deterring opportunistic and organised criminal activity.
This is a coordinated effort from MID, facilitating change.