Keeping eye on beachfront

Security guards on bikes to ensure visitors are safe 24 hours a day

With the festive season mere weeks away, a team of security guards on bicycles have been deployed to make the East London beachfront safer.
The eight-member security team – clad in navy shorts and orange tops and armed with batons and radios – have been cycling along the Esplanade since the beginning of the month.
The project, which runs until the end of 2019, is worth R1m and has been awarded to Falcolux Security Solutions by Buffalo City Metro (BCM). It forms part of the metro’s efforts to boost security at the beachfront.
Falcolux Security Solutions owner Max Msingwana said the team would operate 24-hours, and would work with law enforcement and the police to combat crime.
“We will make sure people are safe each and every minute when they visit the coast. That is why we have four guys patrolling during the day time and four guys who will be patrolling at night,” Msingwana said.
“Our staff members are qualified and some have more than five years experience in the security industry.”
He said the initiative would also help protect tourists in the city.
“There are many tourists who come to our city and some get robbed while walking along the beachfront.
“We want people to feel safe there and know that our city is a place that tourists will want to come back to. We want people to walk on our beaches at any time like people do in Cape Town and Durban.”
Asked about the new security guards’ main functions, Msingwana said they would do random searches of suspicious people, offer medical attention, transport tourists to their preferred destinations at the coast, and crack down on public drinking.
“We have our office there that has someone who will help people with the services they will need. Some of our guys have first-aid training. They are local, so they know the area and what to expect in their job.
“One of the problems we want to fight is drugs in the area. We will inform police when we see drug dealing happening there.” The group will closely monitor and focus on patrolling areas frequented by visitors, including popular hangout Ebuhlanti and Eastern Beach.
“We did our research and we have identified a number of crimes committed in the area during the festive season.
“Ebuhlanti is where a lot of people go but sometimes there is no control and people end up being out of order.
“Sometimes people are found in the morning stabbed to death there.”
Msingwana appealed to people to behave responsibly during the festive season.
“The budget we have now is only till next year and for the Esplanade. Maybe they [BCM] will see how this project goes now and extend it to other areas next year.”
Comment from municipal spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya was not available by the time of going to print...

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