Safe City cameras to focus on Alex Park

2010-04-19 00:00

CRIME could soon be under control in Alexandra Park as crime watchdog Safe City plans to spend R2 million on cameras.

Although the move is yet to be approved, Safe City members, who met stakeholders at the Royal Showgrounds on Friday said nine cameras will soon be installed at the park and Harry Gwala Stadium. The area has been identified as a hotspot for criminal activities.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen said many crimes committed in the CBD and surrounding suburbs are hatched at the park.

“We need to monitor people, especially young people who are coming in and out of the park and stadium,” he said.

The initial plan was to spend about R8 million installing 20 cameras at the park and around the stadium. But due to limited funds, the cost was cut down to R2 million. Holtzhausen said the other 11 devices will be installed as soon as his organisation can raise enough funds.

“Our phase two will be to add 11 cameras later. This will mean all corners of the stadium will be surrounded,” said Holtzhausen.

For now only three cameras will monitor activities in and outside Harry Gwala, which the Paraguay national team will use for training for the 2010 World Cup.

The meeting was cut short as representatives from Msunduzi Municipality and uMgungundlovu District Municipality, which are the main stakeholders in the fight against crime in the city, were not present. They were apparently dealing with the strike by local government employees.

Since Safe City was started by local businesses, it has spent about R20 million installing 69 cameras in the city.

Des Winship, who co-founded Safe City after retiring as CEO for Hulett Aluminum, said the camera project has seen crime drop by about 50% in the CBD.

Safe City statistics show that in areas where there are cameras, common robbery has gone down by 22,9%, murder 45,8%, attempted murder 63,2%, rape 48%, assault GBH 43,9%, vehicle theft 61,2% and theft out of vehicles 70,9%.

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