Community Safety Initiative

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What is CBCSI?

The Camps Bay Community Safety Initiative, or CBCSI, is an initiative set- up by members of the Camps Bay community to safeguard and improve the security of all residents of Camps Bay, Clifton and Bakoven. It is sometimes easier to remember our name as Camps Bay CSI.

CBCSI (Camps Bay Community Safety Initiative) is a 24 hour community response team responding to all emergencies and calls for help.

CBCSI Operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

  • Responds to, on average, 100 calls a month
  • Patrols 400 hours a month
  • 4000 kms driven per month

Why was CBCSI set-up?

CBCSI was started in 2007 because crime was out of control, armed response, on its own, was clearly insufficient, and numerous gaps existed in our policing and criminal justice system. The community had to pool resources together and work out measures that would be more effective against crime.

CBCSI was set up as the Crime Fighting side of Camps Bay Watch.

Communication with members

When there is a serious problem in the area – fire, flood, storm, riot etc. – we will send out updates as they happen, we use radio, community WhatsApp groups, Facebook, Buzzer and Twitter and reach thousands of residents quickly. CBCSI communicates with residents and gives them up to date communication to issues that directly affect their suburb.

When there are professional scammers working in Camps Bay and Clifton, in the form of ATM fraud, “tear drop” hitch hikers, Facebook scammers, “I have no petrol”, “Gardener from next door”, etc. We know them and will warn the community of their presence when they are in Camps Bay and Clifton through our Facebook page, Buzzer or WhatsApp, alerting residents to the area the scammer is working.

CBCSI works with each area individually:

We work with each area or security estates to help them get the best information when it comes to crime patterns and escape routes, we will advise on guards, best spots for cameras, how to place physical barriers, who to monitor, who to respond to, and offer a full risk assessment and multiple tiered solutions.

CBCSI works with individual households:

We help and advise people on their security needs, we do security assessments on each household, and will advise of weak spots, everything from lights, fencing, cameras, response plans to alarms and how to link to the greater community in a time of need.

Operational Services

In 2019 we launched the Buzzer App in Camps Bay and Clifton. This sophisticated phone app gives residents a panic button on their phone which directly connects them to our Control Room (CBCSI Control) and to close by neighbours who might also be able to offer assistance in an emergency. It can also be used to report suspicious activity, or to report fire, medical and municipal incidents that require a response.

We invite anyone living or spending time in Camps Bay to download this app to their phone from the website here.

CBCSI funds, staffs and manages WatchCon as well as the “021-438-2000” number for incident reportin


g and emergencies. WatchCon gathers intelligence and responds to emergencies. WatchCon also plays the critical role of coordinating resources within the community. With a single call, WatchCon can mobilize TAC1, various armed response vehicles, medics, SAPS and our operational command.

CBCSI runs the WatchCon control room, WatchCon is available 24 hrs a day, WatchCon community control room coordinates response to all emergencies.

We are the First port of call in an emergency

CBCSI WatchCon deals with:

  • All Crimes
  • Traffic
  • Snakes
  • Medical
  • Fire
  • Accidents
  • Municipal problems
  • Suspicious behavior
  • Domestic disturbances
  • Lost animals
  • Floods and Mudslides
  • Storms
  • Drownings
  • Fallen trees
  • Lost property

CBCSI WatchCon monitors LPR



We are alerted to suspicious vehicles or vehicles linked to a crime entering Camps Bay and Clifton, we in turn make SAPS, SSPs and responders aware. We are able to then track these vehicles and SAPS would stop and arrest if need be.

CBCSI WatchCon takes

– Over 1000 calls a month

– Monitors 61 community Telegram Messenger groups

– Monitors upwards of 300 Telegram messages per day, upwards of 9300 messages a month

CBCSI WatchCon is on every single Telegram group, so when there is a call for help in a specific area we react immediately. Watchcon is also on those groups so that we can coordinate help, be it from a water pipe to a lost cat to a call for crime.

WatchCon works with Fire and rescue:

With many fires a year in Camps Bay, we need a strong working relationship with Fire and Rescue.

WatchCon has crime reports:

We have built a custom system where we log every incident reported to WatchCon, this enables us to pull exact data. This information is gold!

WatchCon works with the City of Cape Town

  • Roads
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Potholes
  • Metro
  • Law enforcement

WatchCon works with camera networks:

CBCSI WatchCon provides a central hub where cameras are fed and monitored. Watchcon provides a link to each area of Camps Bay and Clifton to bring their cameras to be monitored. We are working hard with over 60 different camera feeds to one place.

WatchCon monitors Licence Plate Recognition Cameras

  • When alerted that suspicious vehicles or vehicles linked to a crime are entering Camps Bay and Clifton and WatchCon makes SAPS, SSPs and responders aware.
  • The vehicles are tracked and arrests made where necessary in conjunction with Law Enforcement and SAPS.

WatchCon use technology to make reporting and asking for help easier:

We have worked with an international company to create an App that is used for pinpointing people that need help.

This is the dedicated armed vehicle that provides backup for ADT and Bay Response if there is an incident at your home and maintains security for the common areas of our suburb – streets, parks, beachfront, green areas etc that are not covered by armed response. If you see someone suspicious in the street and report this to WatchCon, TAC1 will respond.

CBCSI does visible patrolling in high crime areas. This has been shown to effectively reduce crime.

CBCSI monitors and maintains over 60 cameras in Camps Bay, Clifton and Bakoven, and we continue to install new ones at key points in the suburb. Keeping the bandwidth and network running for these cameras is no small technical feat.

Some of the cameras have license plate recognition software and are plugged into the Western Cape LPRUG network. The software has proven effective. The cameras have helped catching criminals and providing evidence for prosecution. The cameras identify incidents as they happen and record footage for later analysis.

CBCSI maintains a common radio network so that all resources can be coordinated. ADT, Bay Response, SAPS, Community Medics, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), TAC1 and CBCSI Operational Command are all on the network, as well as community members of CBCSI who have purchased radios. 

CBCSI provides basic medical care in emergency situations:

We have first aid trained responders as well as dedicated intermediate life support medics on the road who provide critical response to medical emergencies and often save lives. We have responded to 50 medical incidents in the between 1 April and 1 October of 2020 and having the service has really helped save lives on quite a few occasions.

Administration Services

CBCSI has administration capability to take care of accounting, day-to-day general administration, collections, audit, database management, technology, debit order management, customer service, member queries and email communication.

Strategy & Leadership Services

CBCSI provides the community with strategic direction and leadership, so that we stay abreast of crime developments and use our assets effectively. CBCSI needs to stay up to date, we need to make sure we are financially sustainable and we must build capability to counter crime threats in the future. When it happens, it’s too late to prepare.

We also work with other crime fighting organizations such as armed response and SAPS to coordinate resources, share information and fight crime collectively, and we need to maintain relationships with stakeholder organizations in the community like the Camps Bay Business Forum and Camps Bay Ratepayers and Residents Association. Lastly, but importantly, CBCSI maintains member communication and engagement so that the community buys into and supports what we are doing for the collective good.