Cameras point to crime

2015-06-09 06:00

Hanover Park will soon be a safer place with the installation of surveillance cameras in the area.

The City of Cape Town’s metro police CCTV unit and local police will soon decide on strategic locations to have five surveillance cameras placed in the area.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, says these locations will not be made known to the public.

“The police, in conjunction with the City’s metro police CCTV unit and other roleplayers, will decide on the locations. For operational reasons, these locations cannot be divulged,” Smith says.

The funding for the cameras comes from the mayoral urban regeneration programme (Murp) and will cost R1.53m.

Smith explains the camera installation is part of a larger project by the City.

“This project is part of the City’s master plan for an integrated CCTV system which was initiated in 2011. Areas that are prio­ritised include those that form part of the Murp,” he says.

Asked what will be done to safeguard the cameras from vandalism and theft, Smith remains mum.

“These measures form part of the planning, but the details cannot be divulged,” Smith says.

He adds surveillance footage has become integral to fighting crime.

“It helps the police and other safety and security roleplayers to respond immediately to incidents. It also assists with mapping crime hotspots,” Smith says.

The City’s CCTV network is the largest public area surveillance unit in Africa and the only programme in Southern Africa that covers residential areas and informal settlements as well as CBDs.

The CCTV unit now monitors more than 560 cameras throughout the city. This includes cameras of the City’s metro police and the roads network.

“The CCTV unit works closely with the camera response unit that alerts its members when crime, traffic and bylaw infringements and fires are observed,” Smith explains. The unit also supplies footage to police investigators through a structured process

He adds the unit is approved and supported by the department of public prosecutions (DPP) and footage is accepted as evidence in court.

Due to “operational reasons”, Smith says the radius across which footage is collected also could not be divulged.

Smith adds the City will investigate having three more cameras installed in the area in the new financial year.

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