Cameras stunt break-ins

Reports of house break-ins are down in Tamboerskloof, with the local neighbourhood watch’s licence plate recognition cameras having played a big part.

Announced at the TBK Watch’s recent annual general meeting, house break-ins have seen a drop since last year.

In addition, the cost of crime in the neighbourhood has dropped 24%, which equates to over R11m.

TBK Watch chairperson Thorsten Klingelhoeffer explains the financial cost of property crime is calculated based on the replacement value of goods stolen.

“When property crime is lower – specifically high-end car-driven crime – the replacement value of goods stolen in that period is less. A person on foot might carry one laptop or a phone and he would have to offload the goods quickly; a car can carry a lot more, hit more areas in one crime spree and travel further to offload the goods.”

The area’s street cameras record the licence plates of cars travelling through, immediately alerting law enforcement agencies should a car linked to criminal activity be identified.

The cameras have been installed in several suburbs, including Sea Point, Camps Bay, Devil’s Peak, and Constantia. Cars can be tracked through the network and criminals can be arrested when entering another area with cameras.

The camera network allows for advance warning, with alerts sent out when a car registered on the database – which spans networks throughout the peninsula – drives past a camera.

“These vehicles trigger an alert as they enter an area, giving the local response teams advance warning and a chance to take the recommended action. The presence of cameras can be a deterrent, especially to career criminals,” Klingelhoeffer says.

In addition, the network helps in catching criminals after a crime.

“When an entire area is ring-fenced by cameras, it is simple enough to pinpoint probable crime vehicles leaving a street or area after an incident. The camera teams work closely with the police and there have been some good results, including arrests, based on camera information.”

House break-ins did show a decrease for the financial year in the Tamboerskloof residential area, confirms Cape Town Central police spokesperson Captain Ezra October.

“Licence plate recognition cameras did improve the communication between the police and the Tamboerskloof Neighbourhood Watch and we’ve seen numerous arrests executed with the assistance of the cameras,” he says. “The improved communication resulted in improvement in the prevention of crime in the area.”

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Should the red carpet portion of SONA be scrapped this year?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's inappropriate given the state of the country
93% - 3457 votes
No, it's part of the tradition
7% - 250 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.