The City is considering the future opportunities of aerial policing after a successful pilot project over the festive season.

The Metro Police Department implemented a helicopter patrol system over the holiday period. Providing a different view of the public attractions around the city, the ‘eye in the sky’ helped to detect and monitor possible threats to public safety.

Not only did the ‘eye in the sky’ provide information about traffic patterns around the city, it also facilitated the detection of various other incidents. Car accidents and broken down vehicles on major routes, a land invasion, fires, a kite surfer in distress, and fighting on beaches are but a few of the events detected by the helicopter patrol system.

After proving itself to be very useful over the festive season, the City is considering the permanent implementation of the helicopter patrol. “So satisfied are we with the results of this pilot project, that we are in fact considering the feasibility of reintroducing helicopter flights to monitor daily traffic, given the challenge presented by congestion in our morning and afternoon peak periods, as well as crime combatting and prevention in crime hotspots,” said the City’s Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.

While some may oppose this decision due to the potential costs the project could incur, Smith says that the pilot project was far more affordable than expected, adding that discussions for “the option of a public-private partnership to make any future aerial policing even more affordable” are taking place.

The City, in a statement, said that “the video and photographic evidence can be utilised for further analysis, research or further prosecution”. This makes the prospect of a permanent ‘eye in the sky’ even more promising for the future of crime detection.

With regards to the pilot project, Smith said: “The ground they were able to cover and the intelligence they fed back to their control centre made the investment worthwhile, and has given us a new perspective on the possibilities that come from aerial policing.”

Image: Facebook / City of Cape Town

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