City of Cape Town to add dozens of CCTV cameras to surveillance network | CTlive.info - South Africa News

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The City of Cape Town will add 44 CCTV cameras to its strategic surveillance network by the end of June 2019. Picture: City of Cape Town/Supplied

Cape Town – The investment in technology as a force multiplier in community safety has gained significant traction, with more and more City of Cape Town ward allocation funding being allocated to it.
The City will add 44 CCTV cameras to its strategic surveillance network by the end of June 2019. This is in part thanks to allocations that have been made by ward councillors.
For the current financial year, ward allocation projects within the City’s Safety and Security Directorate amount to nearly R17 million.

This includes the installation of CCTV and licence plate recognition cameras, communication equipment for Neighbourhood Watch organisations and extra personnel employed through the City’s Rent-a-Cop Programme.

“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,” said Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
A breakdown of the R7 561 000 capital injection from ward allocation funds includes:

  • R6 462 000 for CCTV/LPR cameras in 28 wards
  • R749 000 for communication equipment for neighbourhood watch organisations
  • R350 000 for a law enforcement vehicle for Ward 64
The operating budget for ward projects total R9 398 174. It has been allocated in the following ways:
  • R7 050 674 for additional enforcement personnel through the rent-a-cop scheme
  • R1 775 000 for the Neighbourhood Watch Support Programme
  • R476 000 for CCTV maintenance
  • R60 000 for smoke alarms in Ward 82

Currently, the City’s Strategic Surveillance Unit (SSU) has a CCTV network of just under 650 cameras. The SSU, which forms part of the Metro Police Department, oversees the procurement and installation of the technology.
“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 is on average 85% to 90% operational. This is the International benchmark for camera functionality. Between December 2018 and February 2019, CCTV cameras detected 4 211 incidents, of which 1 512 (36%) were of a criminal nature. During this period, 64 arrests were made on a range of charges, including breaking and entering, possession of drugs, driving under the influence and cable theft.

“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,” said Smith.
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