Each year crime in Cape town spikes during the festive season, with incidents of vandalism rife across the city. This has spelt bad news for the city’s CCTV cameras, which, installed with the purpose of monitoring crime across the Cape, have been targets of crime themselves, with many now in-operational.
IOL reported that an audit report compiled by the City of Cape Town shows that these cameras were vandalised and no longer work as a result.
Mayco Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that any infrastructure that stands on its own is always vulnerable to vandalism.
“That is part of the management of the CCTV cameras. We have seen criminals pulling out the fibre-optic cables that connect the cameras to our operating centres. We cannot fix or replace the cameras ourselves so we have to get external service providers to do that for us. There are also cases where people throw bricks or shoot at the cameras, damaging the lenses,” Smith said.
Seven CCTV cameras have been installed in Bokmakerie near Athlone, and not a single one is still operational after all of them were vandalised.
The damaged cameras are currently in the process of being repaired or replaced completely depending on the level of damage.
“The report figures change from time to time. When figures are reported, some are fixed or replaced in the interim. Where we see a continuous trend in the damage of cameras we would move the camera location. We have vehicles that knocked down poles that hold cameras,” he said.
“We are installing CCTV in areas like Ocean View and Bishop Lavis. There are also cameras which we’ve repaired and they are only going to come online in the new year. We’ve seen that any infrastructure which stands on its own is prone to vandalism. When, for instance, fibre cables are pulled out of the ground, we have to install a microwave dish, but that is not as effective. Our ShotSpotter technology is also prone to vandalism.”
The City had previously reported that 4 177 incidents of such vandalism were recorded by CCTV cameras in the first three months of the year, which resulted in the arrests of 60 suspects.