Cape Town’s law enforcement officers are being equipped with body cameras and in-vehicle cameras with automated number plate (ANPR) technology as part of the city’s R860-million safety technology investment over the next three years.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis attended trials of the new body and in-vehicle camera tech during a demonstration in Goodwood on Wednesday, along with mayoral safety MEC JP Smith.
“The City will equip 800 of our officers with bodycams and install 290 in-vehicle dashboard mounted cameras or ‘dashcams’ this financial year,” said Hill-Lewis. “In the next couple of years, this technology will be standard across our safety services to make Cape Town safer.”
The dashcams are equipped with ANPR technology so that officers will be alerted to wanted vehicles and outstanding warrants instantly in their vehicles. “These devices are used widely around the world and have shown tremendous success. This is the first time they are being deployed on this scale for a government agency in South Africa.”
Hill-Lewis said: “We’ve already seen the game-changing ability of the ANPR dashcams piloted in our new highway patrol unit launched last year. Based on these learnings, we’re now rolling out cutting-edge in-vehicle cameras across all our vehicles. Together with body-worn cameras, this will massively enhance situational awareness and the quality of evidence gathering to ensure more convictions.”
The mayor said the move will also increase trust and accountability in the municipal police and law enforcement, as interactions with the public will always be recorded.
“This is important to us. We want Cape Town’s safety services to be trusted by the public, even while trust in other law enforcement agencies is declining. There is also global evidence which shows a steep drop in attacks on law enforcement officers after the introduction of these cameras.”
Cape Town’s overall tech investment over the next three years includes CCTV, dash and bodycams, aerial surveillance, drones, gunshot detection technology, and a master digital system to coordinate it all – known as Epic, said Hill-Lewis.
“We’ve been impressed with the successes of the automated number plate recognition pilot in identifying stolen vehicles, those involved in criminal activities, and motorists with outstanding warrants.
“The full roll-out of an in-vehicle camera solution will now enable officers to record evidence of incidents as they happen, while also streaming live video to the control rooms for enhanced situational awareness of critical incidents.”
Cape Town’s R860-million safety tech investment includes:
- R118.4-million on CCTV
- R118-million on dashcams and bodycams
- R109-million for aerial surveillance
- R22-million on drones
- R10-million on gunshot location tech
- R442-million on licence plate recognition, Epic digital coordination, radios, communication systems, and IT and network upgrades
‘We’ve been impressed with the successes of the ANPR pilot in identifying stolen vehicles, those involved in criminal activities, and motorists with outstanding warrants.
‘The full roll-out of an in-Vehicle Camera solution will now enable officers to record evidence of incidents as they happen, while also streaming live video to the control rooms for enhanced situational awareness of critical incidents.” — © 2023 NewsCentral Media
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