Spotter to curb gun violence

2017-09-20 06:00

TECHNOLOGY that will enable the police, as well as the metro police, to know exactly when a firearm is fired, will be installed during the next two months in the northern suburbs of Port Elizabeth, which are plagued by gang violence.

This news was announced by Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Athol Trollip only days after the metro police strengthened its visibility in these areas.

“This technology, which will be installed in secret places throughout the metro, will drastically reduce the illegal use of firearms and associated violence in the metro’s most dangerous neighbourhoods,” said Trollip.

This Shot Spotter technology was first introduced to Cape Town. It immediately notifies the nearest law enforcement officers when a firearm is fired.

“It also leads the police to the exact destination where the firearm is fired.

“Apart from reducing drastically the reaction time, it also helps to analyse shooting patterns to inform police operations,” he said.

During the first three months after the technology came into force in Manenberg, Cape Town, the number of incidents decreased from 211 to 31.

John Best, mayoral committee member on safety and security, said he hoped that the metro would achieve the same success, especially in the city’s northern areas.

“If successful, the coalition government (in the metro) will push for further expansion of the operation,” said Best.

Nevertheless, it remains the priority of the police to combat crime, investigate incidents and prosecute criminal cases against suspects, added Trollip.

“The municipality extends itself to making this city a safer one and we expect the police to meet us halfway.

“With greater police involvement, more equipment and ongoing metro support, gang-related crimes will decrease.”

Trollip also called on Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to recognize what was happening in the northern areas.

“Maybe the minister will see the need to deploy additional resources and build at least one new police station.

“The coalition government understands the importance of dealing with crime,” Trollip said.

“This can be seen with the launch of two new metro police offices, regular visible policing, the launch of the Ghost Squad and now this technology.

“I’m sure residents of the Bay will soon feel safe enough to leave their homes in the evening.”

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