Cameras follow crime

2015-10-13 06:00
This intersection leading to the Town Centre from AZ Berman Drive, is one of the locations residents have requested additional cameras be installed.

SAmantha lee

This intersection leading to the Town Centre from AZ Berman Drive, is one of the locations residents have requested additional cameras be installed. PHOTO: SAmantha lee

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Crime statistics will determine whether Mitchell’s Plain receives extra cameras.

For the past five years, 30 cameras have been monitoring Town Centre as part of operation Cyclops, run by the City of Cape Town’s metro police.

In a recent public meeting, residents and neighbourhood watch volunteers questioned the efficacy of the cameras installed throughout the business hub.

Following the explanation that the locations would not be revealed, a resident asked about extra cameras being installed where crime is most rife – the main routes leading to and from the mall.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, says the City is considering several areas.

“The City is currently assessing which areas need to be prioritised going forward, based on police crime statistics, input from district offices and transport management requirements. The areas mentioned are being considered as part of this process,” says Smith.

The cost of the camera rollout is estimated at R4m.

Smith says the installed cameras are all in working order and cover the entire Town Centre and taxi and bus ranks. Footage is monitored daily at the control centre in Goodwood.

Residents asked that the feed be made available to crime-fighting volunteers, but Smith is hesitant.

“Police and metro police have access to the feeds. In terms of private parties accessing this footage, legal implications would need to be considered. Over and above this, streaming the feed to private individuals may have prohibitive cost implications. The City will therefore have to thoroughly investigate this before deciding whether it would be possible,” says Smith.

At the moment, the feed is monitored by metro police who have radio contact with various law enforcement agencies.

“Officials at the control centre contact the various law enforcement agencies and they respond as soon as resources allow,” Smith comments.

The cameras were installed to combat and prevent crime and help with transport management around the Town Centre.

This area was chosen because of high pedestrian traffic, public transport needs and the prevalence of crime.

Residents, however, feel there are other areas that should also be considered for camera installation, such as crime hotspots.

In turn, Smith recommends residents engage with the director of policing through their ward councillors.


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