Cameras clock busier roads

2017-04-25 06:00

Keeping Sea Point’s “number one crime-fighting tool” up and running is a full-time job.

This as the Sea Point licence plate recognition (LPR) camera network registers over 3m number plates every month.

Every time a car passes a camera the camera reads and logs its number plate, explains LPR project coordinator Jacques Weber. The cameras also register some “noise reads” which could be signage on the vehicle such as a taxi with a signboard of its route.

The 71-camera network – which covers Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Green Point and Mouille Point – is currently averaging about 3.2m reads a month.

Although the system is automated, it is monitored 24 hours a day by the Sea Point Improvement District, he adds.

“Control room operators are constantly looking for suspicious behaviour and vehicles at the same time that the system is also running an automatic process of detection,” he explains.

While the increasing number of reads shows the system is “achieving the desired result of capturing all vehicles entering and leaving the area”, says Weber, it also indicates “the area is becoming busier with more and more cars on the roads”.

“Since the installation of the cameras at a cost of over R2m, it has proved its worth. The LPR network has brought various criminals to book from theft out of car suspects, drugs, hijacking and house robbery. It is the number one crime-fighting tool and is ensuring a safer area for all,” he says.

“We would like to continue to install cameras and increase the footprint to about 85 cameras. The project is heavily dependent on funding from the area and corporates.”

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