From Sandton to Soweto, the City of Johannesburg’s high-tech eyes are waiting to catch criminals in the act!
Johannesburg, South Africa – CCTV cameras picked up an attempted sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman in Rosettenville on July 10, 2019. A reaction team arrived within minutes and prevented the assault.
CCTV cameras are a newly employed tool in the city’s fight against crime.
“We need to inject technology into policing, and this is happening in Joburg, criminals will soon have no place to hide,” City of Joburg MMC of Public Safety Cllr Michael Sun explains.
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The City’s Metropolitan Trading Company (MTC) is embarking on a high-tech upgrade of the CCTV cameras across the city on behalf of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).
MTC’s Field Service Technician Sipho Phakathi, who is leading the Intelligence Video Analytic Platform project, says the City began the roll-out of the first 50 high tech cameras in July last year, which are fitted with the latest and smartest technology.
“These highly advanced surveillance cameras are installed in hotspots that have been identified by JMPD. There would be placed in areas known to be high-crime hotspots where there is a lot of traffic and concentration of people,” says Phakathi.
According to Phakathi, the 50 new cameras are part for the first phase of a pilot project and will complement the existing normal 450 CCTV cameras across the City. Asked what makes the new 50 cameras so special, Phakathi says they have sophisticated software that allows the programmer to tell them “what to do”.
Some of the special features on these cameras include being fitted with fibre networks and wireless connection, which enable them to give a clear face of a suspect. They also have the intelligence to pick up suspicious patterns of movements and immediately send a warning to the JMPD Intelligence Operation Centre.
“You can practically programme the camera to have facial recognition capability, whereby if the same person keeps on passing or moving in the same area multiple times, the camera can be able to pick up the pattern and alert the control room quickly. This also helps to detect a suspicious car that drives around the neighbourhood through the number plate detection,” says Phakathi.
He warns that those involved in criminal activities, including those driving at a high speed on the City’s highways and driving on dedicated Rea Vaya lanes will be nabbed quicker than ever before.
“These specialised cameras can rotate at a 360-degree angle and can cover a distance of up to a kilometre with the consistency of clear visuals,” says Phakathi.