A plan to roll out number plate recognition technology in Alexandra, Diepsloot and Soweto has been given a provisional thumbs up by community crime-fighting groups.
Community Active Protection (CAP), a non-profit security organisation protecting suburbs in northern Johannesburg, has committed to partnering with Vumacam as part of its SafeCity Initiative. This will see Vumacam installing an additional 1,850 CCTV cameras in the city, of which 350 will be installed in the three areas.
“Areas such as Alex and Diepsloot have been without this type of resource and we are excited to be able to cover these spaces,” said CAP spokesperson Elyse Golovey.
The SafeCity initiative will also provide CAP with access to the full network of Vumacam cameras, giving it access to more than 6,000 cameras to help crime prevention and investigations.
Vumacam CEO Ricky Croock said it “will improve the collaboration between private and public sectors by connecting SAPS and CAP through the Eyes and Ears Fusion Centre, which will monitor escalated alerts and deploy SAPS resources to where they are needed most.”
Chairperson of the Alexandra Community Policing Forum (CPF) Chris Mabunda told TimesLIVE: “If they install these cameras in hotspots where cars are being hijacked and where they do street robberies, it will absolutely assist us.”
He identified London Road and routes along the Malboro Gautrain stations as the main access points into Alexandra that could benefit from the cameras, adding: “If they can put them at all the access routes into Alex, that can assist a lot and it will help police do their investigations and identify these criminals.”
Secretary of the Diepsloot CPF Kutlwano Moalosi said they saw potential benefits to the technology.
“It will be a great help in the community. We need any tools that can help us fight crime in our area. If we are approached, we will work hand-in-hand with them to keep our community safe,” said Moalosi.
Golovey said the camera rollout was in the planning phase and would be implemented in the next few months.
A member of the Linden CPF, Annelize Tichauer, said CAP security operated a large number of cameras in the precinct and was about to extend them in the green belt near Delta Park.
“The ones that exist on street level definitely give our many security companies in the precinct another tool to assist them,” she said.
CAP COO Sean Jammy said: “While in isolation CCTV isn’t a silver bullet, as part of a larger intelligence-driven operation we have seen huge benefit.”