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South African security forces promises 'safest World Cup ever'

Posted By: Staff

London, June 8 (ANI): South African security forces have promised the "safest World Cup ever", saying a dedicated force of 41,000 police officers will be deployed across the country to protect an estimated 350,000 visitors during the month-long sporting event.

The military will monitor border crossings, by land, sea and air.

Fears about violent crime in South Africa have dominated the build up to the World Cup, but the nation's police chiefs say the threats have been overblown by the media.

Most of the crime is limited to a few areas; SKY News quoted police, as saying.

"Yes, we have a problem with crime. But it is not right to suggest that people can be attacked on every street corner here," said Colonel Vishnu Naidoo.

He acknowledged that the much-quoted figure of "50 murders a day" in South Africa was correct, but also misleading.

"Most of the crime is limited to just a few areas," Colonel Naidoo said.

Most of the violence takes place in the poor squatter camps and townships far away from the areas that World Cup tourists are likely to visit.

In Johannesburg, widely considered one of the most dangerous cities in the world, the police have stepped up their operations to arrest suspected criminals.

Responding to a swathe of media reports highlighting the dangers of visiting South Africa, the police is keen to point out that hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the country every year without incident. (ANI)

Story first published: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 15:17 [IST]
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