Campus safety


The University of Cape Town’s main campus is set on the slopes of Table Mountain in close proximity to the southern suburbs of Observatory, Mowbray, Rondebosch and Newlands. The M3 highway also cuts through the university, dividing the upper campus from the middle and lower campuses. As an open campus with many access points to both cars and pedestrians, we are constantly exposed to the risk of criminal activities, both on and off campus.

Campus Protection Services

CPS 24-hour hotline: 021 650 2222/3

CPS operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from six service centres:

  • Burnage House – adjacent to Leo Marquard Hall, Burnage Road
  • Upper Campus – Robert Leslie Social Sciences Building, University Avenue
  • Middle Campus – Kramer Law Building
  • Medical Campus – Barnard Fuller Building
  • Forest Hill Residence – Main Road, Mowbray
  • Hiddingh Campus – Orange Street, Cape Town
  • Approach

    CPS has a simple but comprehensive four-pronged approach to campus security and safety:

    • Presence: The uniformed staff maintain a high profile while patrolling the campus on foot and in vehicles, and their presence acts as a positive deterrent against potential criminal actions.
    • Engineering: This involves all the physical equipment that has been installed to enhance security effectiveness, such as fencing, gates and CCTV.
    • Education: Through regular communication with the community, as well as meetings and workshops with students and staff, CPS strives to ensure that there is awareness of security issues, and also provides advice on how to deal with various situations.
    • Enforcement: In extraordinary circumstances CPS is empowered to take whatever appropriate action is necessary to maintain order and security on campus.

    While CPS works to provide an effective service, the university community is a large one and members are encouraged to assist by anticipating and recognising a crime or safety risk, and involving CPS in the implementation of some action, either to reduce or to eliminate that risk.

  • Safety measures

    The following measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and security of our staff and students:

    • A total of 215 fixed and 42 PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras are installed across campus. CPS has secured a number of arrests over the years owing to the monitored camera recordings, and a number of crimes have been avoided due to early detection and appropriate intervention.
    • Students are encouraged to follow the well-established Foot Route when walking between upper and lower campus. This route is regularly patrolled by CPS officers on two-wheeler scooters.
    • A considerable effort has been made to light the campus, minimising dark areas.
    • There are over 300 well-trained officers in the Campus Protection Services (CPS). The personnel are split into four shifts that cover all campuses.
    • CPS operates its six service centres 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their activities are closely monitored and recorded, and they continue with close surveillance of buildings and numerous physical patrols.
    • The number of crime prevention officers who specifically patrol inside buildings has been increased. They highlight areas of negligence, such as doors and windows that have been left unlocked or open. They are designated to specific buildings and have become familiar faces to staff.
    • A comprehensive upgrade of the card access-control system has been implemented and we have fast-tracked a building-by-building security assessment. We are encouraging all staff and students to wear their UCT identity cards at all times.

    UCT is a founder member and donor to the Groote Schuur Community Improvement District (GSCID) which aims to deal with neighbourhood crime, grime, transport and housing problems that are faced by students, residents and businesses in the area.

    View more information on campus safety and crime prevention measures: Staff | Students.

  • Campus Protection Services

    Campus Protection Services (CPS) is committed to protecting the safety of the university community and its property, as well as maintaining order in accordance with university policy.

    CPS staff are highly trained and, in the unfortunate circumstances of a crime being committed against anyone in the UCT community, they are competent in dealing with the practical and legal aspects, such as first-aid and what to do in a case of sexual assault.

    In case of any emergency, call the CPS 24-hour hotline on 021 650 2222/3 (use the last four digits only if calling from a UCT extension).