Alarming statistics concerning Cape Town crime have made some people reconsider the popular tourist destination in South Africa as a potential investment opportunity and vacation spot. A conscientious family should care about security services, police infrastructure, and crime rate statistics when choosing a location to take their family.
However, Cape Town’s crime rate is affected not only by the city districts where tourists visit but its outlying suburbs as well. By understanding how the numbers were gathered and interpreting them against the structure of security in place in the main districts of Cape Town, you should be able to confidently put it back on the map of your vacation destinations.
Cape Town has a budding tourist industry that houses over 1.7 million foreign visitors every year. Naturally, security measures are important when it comes to keeping those people safe and making Cape Town as attractive as possible for those that might want to visit.
To that end, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has not only a tangible presence in the Cape Town business district but also a set of guidelines that it gives out to visitors and tourist industry professionals.
Those trained in keeping your visit safe and comfortable will inform you of how to stay safe in Cape Town, which entails strategies that are common to any large population center. Much of this advice would be the same if your destination was New York City or Chicago.
Stay in groups
In any large population center, staying in groups is a good safety tip. Traveling alone and especially at night is the best way to get noticed by a thief as an easy mark.
ATM fraud is also a problem in large cities like Cape Town. Having someone with you can ensure that no one is looking over your shoulder when you input sensitive information.
Keep track of your valuables
It’s advisable not to travel with too much cash at any one time. Cape Town, like most urban centers, has its fair share of pickpockets.
Limiting the amount of time you use valuable electronic devices in public is also a good idea. Many of the hotels have safes available if you’re traveling with valuable items.
Stick to the city
This is the most important advice the CCID gives out and it’s instrumental to understanding how crime statistics in Cape Town work. The city – including its tourist and business districts – is a developed, modern urban center.
However, the suburbs outside the city are undeveloped and prone to a high crime rate. In fact, 95% of the crime reported in the Cape Town area comes from these suburbs.
These are places where tourists should not go. By using an accredited taxi service rather than a car rental, you can ensure that you don’t accidentally end up in an unsafe place.
Evaluating the crime rate
The CCID is on-call at all hours to assist tourists in the city center. They put out these guidelines and additionally train tourist professionals in them to help keep you as safe as possible.
Even still, one trip to South African government websites will show you the record-breaking crime rates in Cape Town, in everything from murder to property damage. This, of course, would make any visitor worried for themselves or their family.
However, it’s important to interpret these statistics in context. As mentioned, 95% of this crime occurs in places that you will never go as a tourist or business investor. The slums on the outskirts of the city have yet to be developed and they are an ongoing problem for the CCID and related authorities.
For you though, they don’t pose a threat unless you wander too far. By sticking to regular tourist sites and the busy city districts, there’s no reason that a visit to Cape Town shouldn’t be as safe and enjoyable as to any coastal urban center.
A single number should not deter you from taking advantage of a city that has proven repeatedly to be a huge investment opportunity and popular tourist destination, to which people return to time and again.
Understanding the nature of these statistics can better prepare you to make the right call when choosing your family’s vacation. As conscientious as you are, the Cape Town legal authorities are doubly so to keep their budding tourist industry afloat and thriving for your visit.
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