First eyes on the roads

2015-08-04 06:01

Doing their work is “an adrenalin rush”.

This is a sentiment shared between two controllers, one a radio controller provided for by ADT and the other a camera controller paid for by Verifier from residential and business contributions.

They are stationed at the Constantia Village information centre in Bergvliet. People’s Post visited the centre where the controllers monitor cameras across the valley.

The control room is linked to the Constantia Valley Watches Association.

The Association is a collaboration between various neighbourhood watches in the Constantia Valley area, including the BKM Watch, Constantia Watch, Constantia Hills Watch, Golflinks Watch, Nova Constantia Watch, Plumstead Watch and Southfield Watch.

Controllers Anita* and Vicky* ask not to be identified as they deal with work that is highly confidential.

This work includes monitoring the roads for accidents and trees falling in the road as well as open gates and watching cars entering and exiting the area.

They work shifts of 12 hours each in a three days on, three days off rotation.

“The work we do is extremely interesting and exciting as we get to see first-hand what happens on the roads. It is a very demanding but satisfying job as our main objective is to ensure the safety and security of the residents,” Anita says.

Vicky says their work does not only entail monitoring the camera footage and accurately verifying all licence plate recognition alerts with the police, but also answering calls from residents who are in distress.

“Residents call and provide us with information with regard to incidents, which makes our jobs easier and more effective. The interaction is important as it shows that residents take their safety and security seriously,” she says.

The women both agree that one of the most exciting parts of their jobs is to track car chases.

Anita says this is when everyone gets involved, including the flying squad, all security companies connected to the control room and the police.

“As we sit in the control room we can feed information through to those involved in the car chase; we can tell them exactly where to drive and what to look out for,” she says.

While this does not happen every day, Anita says when they are on to something or someone suspicious they are determined to apprehend the person and to ensure that they do not get away.

Vicky adds that while the centre has all the equipment needed to monitor the valley, the residents still remain an important element. Residents play a big part in them being able to perform well in their work.

“We have to build a good relationship with them as they are the eyes and the ears just as we are. We all have the same objectives and that is to make the valley a safer community to live in,” she says.

Meanwhile, the Association has established a website where it highlights its main objectives:
Heighten awareness among residents to the extent of criminal and other activity in the valley and surrounding areas.
Encourage and promote cooperation and sharing between the different neighbourhoods in the valley.
 Elicit the support of residents, businesses, organisations and bodies operating within the valley to achieve the common goal.
Provide a comprehensive crime monitoring and reporting mechanism from which all residents, businesses, organisations and bodies in the valley may benefit and participate in to curb crime.

Maximise the benefits that may arise from the pooling and sharing of resources and expertise that has been built in the watches.

Vicky and Anita are determined to uphold these objectives through the work they do and are committed to making a difference in the community.
“Every day is different, but every day we do our best to ensure no crime, accident or fallen tree is unnoticed as we do not want to create any opportunity for danger of any sort in the valley,” they both agree.

To report anything suspicious or other problems call the information centre on 086 000 2669.

* The controllers’ real names have been withheld as they deal with camera footage and data that are highly confidential and is only provided to the police and investigators.

Visit the Association’s website at

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