The University of Cape Town (UCT) has bought 10 new patrol vehicles to help ensure the students’ safety on its campus.

Elijah Moholola, UCT’s spokesperson said the vehicles would patrol the campus using strategic routes to maintain visibility and that they would allow the Campus Protection Services (CPS) officers to respond to emergencies fast.

Moholola said that tracking devices were installed in the vehicles and that the security guards would have an electronic patrol device to ensure that certain red-flagged areas were checked regularly.

He added the security guards would have “dash cameras to record patrolled areas, equipment to deal with medical emergencies, minor fires, traffic control in the event of accidents and other dangerous situations students and staff might face”.

“CPS officers on foot patrol will be trained for when the incidents or emergencies occur since the vehicles will offer all the necessary supplies,” said Moholola.

“We planned to install licence plate recognition cameras in the vehicles, but it didn’t happen. The university will assist CPS to pick up any vehicles flagged by the police, strengthening the fight against crime beyond the university,” he added.

Cape Argus reported UCT Student Representative Council (SRC) chairperson Akha Tutu welcomed UCT’s attempt to keep the students safe, “as that is their prerogative to do so”.

“We do not endorse the institution’s spending on vehicles that amount to R300,000 per vehicle while students are struggling to get funding so as to register. We reject that entirely,” said Tutu.

UCT’s DA Students Organisation chairperson Luke Albert also welcomed the efforts to improve the safety on campus, and said since the general decline in safety has been a major point of concern.

“We hope that this initiative sets a precedent of continual improvements in safety,” said Albert.

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