Safe City turns up volume

2013-07-27 00:00

HEARING a voice that seemingly comes out of nowhere can be rather alarming.

It can also be effective in preventing people from doing wrong, as proven by the PA system used by Safe City in Pietermaritzburg’s bustling city centre.

Safe City has CCTV cameras and speakers all over the CBD to monitor the areas and to give instructions to people who are misbehaving.

This week a voice from the ether successfully stopped two very surprised culprits from putting up posters advertising an abortion clinic.

Jason Herbert from Safe City said that the culprits were quite surprised when scolded via the PA system.

“The staff were observing this guy and his partner sticking up posters on building walls and dust bins. The staff member working that night used the system saying, ‘Listen please. We can see you putting up the poster and what you are doing is wrong. Don’t put those posters up.’

“The man got such a fright he put up his hands. He and his partner then walked around removing the posters they had already put up,” Herbert told Weekend Witness.

Princess Mncwabe, who monitors the camera and makes use of the PA system, said there are some strange reactions when they speak to people on the streets.

“They look so confused! They can hear us but they do not see us. When we see someone is doing something wrong we say ‘Hey you!’ and then we describe what they are wearing so they know we are speaking to them. Then we say ‘I’m warning you, I can see what you are doing.’ Normally they are so surprised they stop,” said Mncwabe.

This week Safe City’s surveillance of the CBD has resulted in 106 incidents detected, with 27 police responses, 16 municipal responses and 27 traffic fines issued.


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