New tech zooms in on car plates

2016-11-01 06:00

Eight years after three members formed the Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek (DPV) Watch, the neighbourhood watch is employing the latest technology to keep ahead of crime in the area.

The neighbourhood watch, which has almost 1500 members, along with its neighbour Oranjezicht Higgovale Neighbourhood Watch, currently operates over a dozen licence plate recognition (LPR) cameras at entrances and exits to the suburbs, but is looking to test various other technological advancements to boost their network.

DPV Watch is currently trying out newer camera models that are able to make use of internet and cloud advancements. While other cameras include surveillance footage, the new camera focuses on monitoring licence plates and sending through information, instead of streaming a large amount of video footage to a physical server, explains DPV Watch chairperson Vito Paparella.

Although a certain amount of video footage is stored and can be accessed, the camera primarily sends data to the cloud, which reduces the amount of physical infrastructure and WiFi capabilities needed.

Described as a “bespoke LPR solution”, the cameras are significantly cheaper and ideal for securing smaller or side streets in the suburb, Paparella says.

In addition, DPV Watch is also investigating cameras to keep an eye on footpaths on the mountain slopes in the area. These cameras, although still in the early phases of development, will be positioned to monitor pathways behind homes and will have infrared capability to monitor at night, Paparella adds. The cameras will serve primarily as an early alert system and for gathering intelligence.

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