New CCTV control room to zoom in on crime

2020-02-11 06:00
Community organisations, stakeholder, City representatives and law enforcement agencies were present at the launch of the new Muizenberg CCTV control room.PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

Community organisations, stakeholder, City representatives and law enforcement agencies were present at the launch of the new Muizenberg CCTV control room.PHOTOS: Racine Edwardes

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Muizenberg officially has an operational eye in the sky – four to be exact – keeping watch over Capricorn and Muizenberg to combat crime.

City of Cape Town Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith; ward 62 councillor Aimee Kuhl; and Metro police and the City’s director of CCTV and radio communications Barry Schuller met with representatives from the local neighbourhood watch (NHW) and ratepayers’ association to launch the CCTV control room.

The R300 000 project, which came to fruition through allocations from multiple ward councillors, is making use of four cameras – two License Plate Recognition system cameras which are static, and two PTZ cameras which have a 360° range. They can be controlled from the control room situated at the Muizenberg traffic department.

At the launch, Smith thanked Kuhl, saying she is one of the councillors who has put her money where her mouth is. “This control room environment is closely linked to our own staff, so there’s a close relationship between traffic law enforcement, the neighbourhood watch (NHW) and the aux officers; and that is an intentional goal.”

Kuhl thanked Schuller for his dedication to this project and expressed her pride for the roll-out of the cameras.

“This has been a long time coming. And we still have a long way to go,” she said.

“The initial vision was always to not only have the monitoring room but to create a place for different community organisations and official safety and security stakeholders to cooperate with each other.

“We now have the hardware and the next step is to get the people motivated and excited to occupy this space.

“From today onwards, we’re going to go from strength to strength.”

The surveillance cameras room will soon be occupied by interested NHW, community policing forum and community members.

While the control room footage – saved for about 30 days – can only be viewed at the new control room at present, the City is in talks to use Die Burger Strandhuis in Muizenberg as the central surveillance room for Grassy Park, Muizenberg, Ocean View and Retreat.

“We’re training about nine times more staff than we ever have before, so this is one of the facilities that have allowed us to put about 70 people through their paces. We have used it for our youth camps before, so we will not be neglecting it. We’ll be upgrading and improving the facility.”

Die Burger Strandhuis is one of the tallest buildings in the area and will allow for almost complete surveillance of Muizenberg.

However, it could take up to four years for the project to commence.

There are more plans in the pipeline to reduce crime which the City will reveal when funding becomes available.

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