CCTV surveillance – a partner in crime prevention

22 Jun 2020 in Where We Govern

Seven of the 21 arrests this past week were the result of CCTV surveillance. In addition, the City’s Traffic Service and Metro Police Department issued approximately 22 000  fines for various transgressions, including contravention of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

On Saturday, 20 June 2020, the City’s Metro Police CCTV surveillance cameras once again proved to be a valuable tool in fighting crime when video footage transmitted to the control room showed six suspects at the station deck in Cape Town stealing from a vendor’s container. The South African Police Service and the Central City Improvement District security reacted to the call  and all suspects were apprehended. The suspects, between the ages of 30 and 42, were arrested for housebreaking and theft and detained at the Cape Town Central SAPS.

In Observatory, video footage from CCTV surveillance cameras at the N2 and Main Road led to the arrest of a 46-year-old suspect at Hospital Bend for the possession of copper cables. The suspect was detained at Woodstock SAPS.

‘The City’s CCTV cameras play an important role in the early detection of criminal behaviour. Cameras increase our visible policing footprint and enable rapid responses in instances where criminal activity is detected. These arrests also show that Metro Police officers work closely with the South African Police Service and other enforcement agencies. In most cases where officers were notified by the CCTV control room, they were able to stop the criminal activity or arrest the suspects in the act, ‘ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

On Tuesday, 16 June 2020, The Metro Police Tactical Response Unit assisted with the arrest of seven persons for public violence during protest action in Philippi. A Metro Police vehicle was damaged during the melee.

‘Our resources have been stretched with the many different demands over the past few months. In addition to the enforcement of lockdown regulations drafted in terms of the National Disaster Management Act, we have also seen an increase in crime in general in recent weeks – particularly gang conflict. Add to that the ongoing protest action in numerous areas within the metropole, and the workload becomes apparent. We need to impress upon the public the need to work with our enforcement agencies to help ease the load. The lockdown regulations are in place for a reason – public health and safety – and that really should be sufficient motivation for people to adhere to the rules,’ added Alderman Smith.

On the roads, the Cape Town Traffic Service arrested five suspects on various charges and impounded five vehicles. Officers recorded 3 797 COVID-19 lockdown-related charges and issued 17 852 fines for various other offences.