Put cameras to use

Aubrey Robinson, community leader, Retreat

I don’t have the total thousands of rands spent on the installation, maintenance and monitoring of security cameras yet we have residents dying and being shot daily.

Please check with Steenberg SAPS for stats of the total killed and seriously injured in the last year or two since these hopeless security cameras were installed and you will get as frustrated and cross I am as a community leader and activist and resident of Ward 110.

Towards the end of May 2020 I emailed sub-council manager Fred Monk who responded almost a week after I sent him the mail, saying he would follow up and ask for a report on the CCTV cameras.

The second week in June I sent another email to Mr Monk and it’s now the middle of August and I’m still waiting on an update while our people are dying and seriously injured.

We even have the speaker of the City, Dirk Smith serving on the sub-council, yet we sit with this incompetent manager.

As a matter of urgency can we please address this important issue as we had three people shot recently in 12th Avenue Retreat (“Help police find suspects involved in weekend shootings”, Southern Mail, August 19).

Richard Bosman, City of Cape Town executive director for safety and security, responds:

The Grassy Park CCTV Control Centre has produced great results since inception and has a good relationship with the respective neighbourhood watches in the surrounding area.

Among the incidents witnessed via the camera system were acts of vandalism, breaking and entering, theft, drinking in public, drug offences and suspects with possible stolen goods.

Currently this is one of the best camera collaborations with neighbourhood members, who are connected via two-way radios and a message platform.

The Camera Control Centre is also linked to the Metro Police Radio Communications Centre.

Watch members can radio or message into the camera room and notify the camera operators to monitor suspicious activity and they, in turn, can request a watch members’ presence at a location that requires some visibility.

Blue light patrols with the Metro Police were also done with the neighbourhood watch and we expect more snaking patrols this year.

Incidents of suspicious persons roaming the streets after midnight have kept monitoring staff on alert and capturing of facial features assist the police, should they require any evidence from the camera network.

For this year, just over 114 incidents were detected and the control centre could assist with swift responses to motor vehicle accidents, medical assistance and fires in the area.

The expansion of the camera network continues and we expect the same successes with the Grassy Park Control Centre, as the City does have with their current surveillance centres, operating since 2000.

None of those shooting incidents (mentioned in the letter) are close to the cameras that
have been installed in that area. A report
has been provided
to the sub-council office.