CCTV camera operators undergo strict vetting - JMPD

2015-08-14 09:15
Officials work in the control room for CCTV cameras in Johannesburg CBD. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

Officials work in the control room for CCTV cameras in Johannesburg CBD. (Adam Wakefield, News24)

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Johannesburg - The men and women who sit in the Johannesburg Metro Police Department's CCTV control room in the Joburg CBD are the city's first line of defence against serious crime.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar told News24 at the control room on Thursday it is crucial staff that work there are trustworthy and extensively vetted.

"They must be trusted and they get monitored very closely by the supervisors and we do have in the control room members of Saps and JMPD," he says.

"They communicate when they do see suspicious behaviour or a suspect or a crime. They would communicate with the officers at the officers' console, and then they would communicate with the officers on the ground to be able to dispatch as quick as possible."

Metro police have six staff members present in the morning, three in the afternoon and two people stationed in the control room all night.

Omega, the company which works with metro police to run the CCTV system and its 402 cameras, have over 30 staff working in the control room at any one time.

In a week, camera operators work three days on, three days off. Their 12-hour shifts are divided up into two hours at two different consoles, and an hour break to freshen up before the process repeats itself.

"Over the course of a 12-hour day, they would work 7 or 8 hours," Minnaar says.

Operators were also moved between consoles to make it almost impossible to collaborate with syndicates.

"Several years ago, an operator was approached and offered a substantial amount of money by a syndicate," Minnaar says.

"In that instance, it was reported by the operator that the criminals had approached him to look away. They had studied the area so well and knew where the camera was and even got information on who the operator was, monitoring the camera at that time."

He says the security systems in place at the control room have proven to be very successful in preventing any collusion between staff and criminals.

Read more on:    jmpd  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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