Cops clamp down on ‘chill area’

The area in front of College of Cape Town has become the new Friday chill area, according to the Central City Improvement District (CCID).

Security stakeholders have raised concerns what they describe as anti-social behaviour in front of the College of Cape Town’s city campus in Longmarket Street.

Police recently arrested a student for possession of ammunition, and fined another for using drugs in a public space.

Spokesperson for Cape Town Central police, Captain Ezra October said on the morning of Wednesday March 6, law enforcement officers were doing patrols when a member of the public stopped them to report that a group of students were smoking dagga in front of the College of Cape Town.

“The members approached the group and asked to search them. The members found a dagga cigarette on one of the students and issued him with a fine, and found one round of live ammunition in another student’s backpack. The 18-year-old man was arrested and detained at Cape Town Central SAPS.”

Captain October said there was an ongoing issue with anti-social behaviour and students, as well as school pupils, drinking in this area.

Muneeb Hendricks, the security manager for the Central City Improvement District (CCID), said the CCID had been made aware of these issues by stakeholders in the area.

Mr Hendricks said: The CCID has put measures in place to deal with this situation, especially on Friday afternoons. Students, not just from the College of Cape Town, but from various surrounding high schools, have attempted to make this a Friday ‘chill’ area. The anti-social behaviour includes drinking alcohol, smoking dagga and playing loud music.”

Mr Hendricks said several bottles of alcohol have been emptied and students have received warnings to refrain from this behaviour.

“Students, especially in school uniform, should not be engaging in this sort of anti-social behaviour. Doing so also places them at risk when having to travel home.”

He said the CCID deployed a team to monitor the area on Friday afternoons to prevent this type of behaviour. “We have also communicated with the security teams of the surrounding stakeholders to monitor the area and report this kind of behaviour to the authorities immediately so that action can be taken.”

Captain October said the police would have a meeting with the Safe Schools coordinators working in the area and the principals of the schools and the college to address these concerns.

Melissa Bezuidenhout, media coordinator at The College of Cape Town, said the college had not been informed that the student had been arrested in the public area outside the city campus last week, so she could not comment.

She said the college knew of the activities which take place on Friday afternoons in the public space in front of the city campus.

“To the best of our knowledge, none of our students are involved.

“The College of Cape Town strives to provide our students a safe and secure environment conducive for quality education and training and will do the necessary if any of our students are not adhering to the Student Code of Conduct of the College.”

“The college are in full support and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in a process of creating a safe environment for all.”