Forty-four new CCTV cameras will be added to Cape Town’s strategic surveillance network by the end of June this year, as the City’s investment into technology as a force multiplier in community safety has “gained significant traction”.
Some of the investment has been allocated by the city’s various ward councillors, and amount to nearly R17-million. This will then be used to install CCTV cameras, licence plate recognition cameras, and communication equipment for Neighbourhood Watches. Some of the money will also go towards the City’s Rent-A-Cop Program.
“Safety and security is a big ask in Cape Town and while the Directorate tries to meet as many of the needs as possible, the reality is that the ward allocation funding helps to accelerate delivery in very meaningful ways. From force multipliers like CCTV cameras in high crime areas to additional manpower on the streets through the rent-a-cop and beach buddy programmes, every cent helps,” Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said to IOL.
The City’s Strategic Surveillance Unit (SSU) currently has a CCTV network of just under 650 cameras.
“We are looking at a potentially similar financial injection into CCTV technology from various ward councillors in the new financial year. Ward allocations for CCTV and licence plate recognition cameras in the draft budget total just over R6.5-million. There is also a proposed multi-ward rollout of CCTV in the Delft area, courtesy of conditional grant and donation funding,” said Smith.
The SSU network operates at an average of 85% – 90% efficiency – this is the international benchmark for camera functionality.
Between December 2018 and February 2019, CCTV cameras detected 4 211 incidents, with 36% of these being criminal incidents.
“CCTV acts as a crime deterrent, but also provides valuable intelligence and data for investigations carried out by law enforcement agencies. All of the City’s footage is available to the South African Police Service, if they require it. I would however like to see that this resource be more readily exploited by the SAPS,” Smith said.