by Louis Liebenberg
From 2000 to 2004 the Noordhoek wetlands and beach in the Table Mountain National Park suffered ongoing criminal attacks on visitors. Criminal attacks included armed robbery, assault of visitors and rape. Due to the remoteness of the area, the police and park rangers were unable to apprehend suspects. Only by tracking suspects and using the CyberTracker to plot their movements, was it possible to plan successful operations to catch the criminals. The CyberTracker monitoring programme has proven very successful in reducing and preventing attacks on visitors. After several arrests in 2004, there were no reported attacks on visitors and a number of attempted attacks were prevented during the period of 2005 to 2007.
In the past a spate of criminal attacks started up again following a quiet period after the arrest of suspects. To prevent this from happening in the future, ongoing training should be provided to ensure the integrity and safety of the area.
A number of field rangers in Noordhoek were trained in the use of the CyberTracker and as part of the ongoing monitoring programme also records observations on animals and endangered plants in the area. Species not known to occur in the area have been discovered, including the Cape Fox and Yellow Mongoose. Movements of otters are also closely monitored.
The successful methods developed in Noordhoek can be used to make other parts of the Table Mountain National Park safe for visitors... click on the link below to read the full Proposal.
Please note that this Proposal was not implemented by the Table Mountain National Park and that the initial tracker training programme was discontinued. Some areas in the park may not be safe for visitors.