The City of Cape Town’s Strategic Surveillance Unit detected nearly 6 200 incidents between January and June 2020. There was a slight drop in incidents in the second quarter, which coincided with the start of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Of these,  suspected criminal acts accounted for 35,6% of all incidents detected, with 115 arrests ranging from possession of drugs and theft of motor vehicles, to breaking and entering and robbery.

An analysis of the incidents showed that most were detected between the hours of 9am and 12pm and 6pm to 9pm.

Wednesday and Friday emerged as the busiest days of the week in terms of incident detection.

“This type of analysis plays a very useful role in helping to detect incident patterns, which in turn can help guide resource allocation and deployment. It is also a reminder to the public that criminals do not operate under the cover of darkness only, but that many are brazen enough to go about their business in broad daylight. It is therefore crucial to remain vigilant at all times,” said Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

Below is a breakdown of CCTV statistics/data for the period in question:

“CCTV is more than just a tool in the fight against crime. It can also be used to detect potential traffic problems early enough to avoid unnecessary congestion or ensure that traffic is diverted quickly if need be; or fires, accidents and other matters that might require an emergency response. There have been instances where the CCTV operator raises the alarm on behalf of someone who cannot seek help for themselves, because they’re too badly hurt or unconscious or shaken up to make the call,” Smith said.

“The footage recorded by our system can also be shared with SAPS for the purposes of their investigations, and offers an objective view into situations where there otherwise might not have been any evidence or information about how an incident unfolded. Stringent measures are in place to ensure the chain of custody is preserved in the handing over of footage, so that it can pass muster in court.”

The Metro Police Strategic Surveillance Unit oversees nearly 800 CCTV cameras across the metropole, excluding cameras monitoring the freeways and transport routes and interchanges.

“Plans are in place to further expand the system in the current financial year,” Smith added.

Picture: Pixabay

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.