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Re: [Debconf-team] Q for Cape Town bid: attendees safety outside the venue

Hi Lucas (2014.12.17_19:48:27_+0200)
> However, one thing that worries me a bit in the context of DebConf is
> the safety of attendees when outside the venue (e.g. walking between the
> venue and accomodation). My understanding from back then is that it was
> absolutely not recommended to walk alone or in small groups at night.
> Some conference attendees had quite frightening (but harmless in the
> end, AFAIK) experiences.

There is no easy place to draw the line on what is safe, and what isn't.
Walking alone at at night isn't dangerous per se. But there are places
that I would avoid at night. And yes, you're safer in a group.

In the context of our proposed venues:

UCT upper campus is reasonably safe at all hours.

Yes it's unfenced, and open to the public. There are open areas, and
there probably won't be many people around in the middle of the

The campus is patrolled by security guards, and has monitored CCTV
covering most public areas.  Paths through middle campus are lit at
night, and there are brightly lit panic button pillars along the more
remote paths.

The accommodation and conference venue would both be on upper campus,
just a few buildings away from each other. I wouldn't be concerned
about safety here.

The V&A Waterfront (where Breakwater campus is located) is a very busy
tourist areas, with many shops and hotels. Again, there is private
security, and public areas are well lit. Getting between the venue,
hotel rooms, and restaurants / pubs should be about as safe as it gets.

Technopark is an office park, outside Stellenbosch. The park has
security, and we'd be entirely inside the hotel.

Looking at crime reports at UCT, and the waterfront, there are several
muggings every year. Mostly for cash and cellphones. This is what we
would be most worried about, and the best protection is to be aware of
your surroundings.

We'd probably want to provide some transport into town in the evenings,
and this is where people would need to be a little more careful. Walking
through a busy part of town is fine. Wandering through desolate areas,
on your own, is less so.

> I don't know how much the situation improved since then (maybe the world
> cup caused an increase of crime rate at the time)

I would imagine that the world cup caused a temporary decrease in crime,
rather than an increase. The was a huge crack-down, and a massive
increase in policing, for the event. Crime stats I've seen since, show a
marked (70% in some areas) decrease in crime during the world cup.

That said, a lot of South Africa's violent crime isn't something we need
to be concerned with.

I feel perfectly safe in all of the venues that we propose.  We want our
attendees to be safe, and have a good experience. We can certainly help
this by providing transport to off-campus entertainment areas in the


Stefano Rivera
  +1 415 683 3272

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