The Groote Schuur CID and UCT’s Campus Protection Services –  an effective partnership in keeping criminals at bay

Since the inception of the GSCID in 2010, a close partnership between the GSCID off campus and UCT’s on campus Campus Protection Services (CPS) has resulted in a very effective integrated and visible security presence against criminals off the on Campus to the benefit of UCT staff and students.

CPS is linked via radio to the control room of the GSCID who in turn are linked to SAPS in Rondebosch and Mowbray police stations.  Both the GSCID and CPS are also linked by cell phone to the SAPS vehicles patrolling in the area.  This provides an excellent communications network and rapid responses to crime together with visible security out on the streets off Campus.

“It is this joint and integrated approach, with a strong focus on teamwork” says UCT’s Roland September, Director Risk Services (Traffic, Security, CCTV and Events), “that enables us to present a united front.”

 Roland September, UCT’s Director Risk Services (Traffic, Security, CCTV and Events); Anthony Davies, GSCID CEO and Charl Brooks the GSCID Operations Manager


Roland September, UCT’s Director Risk Services (Traffic, Security, CCTV and Events); Anthony Davies, GSCID CEO and Charl Brooks the GSCID Operations Manager

“To prevent and fight crime,” says September, “we cannot operate alone in silos. Furthermore CPS cannot operate off campus to arrest perpetrators and therefore the GSCID plays a vital role in taking up where CPS patrols end.”  According to September, they work very closely with intelligence from many sources and this integrated approach “definitely makes a difference. We certainly enjoy an excellent working relationship on the streets with Charl Brooks the GSCID Operations Manager attending our bi-weekly Risk Management meetings.”

Criminals come from all sides onto what is an open Campus at the University, from the mountain side, from De Waal Drive and from Anzio Road, also from the Main Road.  Furthermore the N2 and M3 highways which are all in close proximity to the Campus provide an easy getaway for criminals.  Sharing of intelligence and communication between our security partners therefore makes an arrest more likely and provides greater security coverage to UCT off Campus.

If an incident involving a student or an occurrence in the proximity of UCT is picked up by one of the GSCID vehicles or by a patrolman on foot this is relayed to CPS and vice versa. “Much interaction takes place via our integrated radio network,” adds September.

Charl Brooks, the GSCID’s Operations Manager, quotes a recent example of an incident in Chapel Road on the periphery of Campus near where the CPS surveillance centre and control room are based at Bernage.

Three criminals were attempting to break into a car. This was immediately relayed to the GSCID, who in turn alerted SAPS. The three perpetrators were arrested. “Had we been operating in silos,” says September, “a successful arrest would not have taken place.”  Similar incidents of this combined nature happen often.  Just this past weekend along the Main Road a GSCID patrol officer together with a CPS officer made an excellent arrest.  In fact the direct arrests by GSCID patrol staff totalled 77 for this past year and then were handed over to SAPS officers.  There are many other arrests where we assist one another which make this integrated partnership even more effective.

This leads September to conclude that if the GSCID was not present off Campus, UCT would experience greatly increased security problems. “The GSCID patrols therefore provide a protective barrier around Campus, but particularly along the eastern boundary which runs parallel to the Main Road which remains the most vulnerable area.”  Brooks reports that there have been many incidents involving UCT students where the GSCID first became aware and then communicated to CPS staff.

Other agencies also have a role to play, he says. Brooks cites the example of a mugging on the M3 footbridge called in by Table Mountain National Park rangers who reported it to CPS. They in turn alerted GSCID who then alerted SAPS.  He commented “through sharing of information, all parties became aware of the situation.”  Floodlights, linked to those on campus were then installed by UCT so that they come on simultaneously on the footbridge.  According to Brooks, this has solved the problem of vagrants and criminals lurking in this vulnerable area.

“If one considers what students carry in public,” says September, “laptops, tablets and cell phones, the value of which can run into thousands of Rands, students make easy targets for criminals.” “This is especially so”, says Anthony Davies, GSCID CEO, “because UCT is an open campus, fenced only in certain areas and therefore open to criminals.  This is where our staff provides effective visible security working in tandem with CPS concentrating on the UCT boundaries.”

A regular attendee at UCT Risk Management meetings, Brooks says that the problem of the homeless hanging around campus also presents a major challenge. September agrees: “They tend to hover on the perimeter of the campus and around the student residences where left over food from students are eagerly snapped up.”

In August 2014 due to funding constraints at UCT it became necessary to reduce the GSCID presence in the adjacent residential areas around the Campus.  We therefore are no longer able to patrol in the areas indicated in green in the map below.  The GSCID now concentrates their patrols in the red area which in turn provides a security barrier for UCT.

New boundary map

This reduction in resources was very carefully planned and managed to ensure that the vulnerable eastern boundary of the UCT Campus was not unduly exposed.  The GSCID is therefore grateful that UCT has continued to provide funding to enable us to deploy an additional vehicle to operate in this area alongside two CPS vehicles thereby ensuring adequate patrols along this boundary.

Both the GSCID and CPS security vehicles (three of each) patrol this route but not at the same time so that between the two sets of vehicles there is ongoing patrolling of this route on a 24/7 basis with no overlapping of patrols.

The GSCID has a patrol compliment of thirty security officers who work in three shifts, concentrating on the Main Road. There are also mobile GSCID kiosks deployed on Anzio Road extension, a walkway that students use adjacent to the Medical School, as well as on the corner of Burg Road and Main Road outside Rustenburg Girls Junior School.  These provide excellent visible security.

Brooks points out that joint operations regularly take place between SAPS, CPS and the GSCID, but that there is a need to encourage other role players, such as local security companies, to also become involved and form part of the overall security strategy for the area.

Burg St horse box 2

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