The City is now using more CCTV cameras resulting in more criminal cases being opened. Picture: Matthew Jordaan
Cape Town - In the last financial year the City of Cape Town's CCTV cameras resulted in an average of 29 criminal cases being opened each month.

The acting executive director for Safety and Security, Wayne le Roux, said there were 577 cameras monitored by the metro police.

“CCTV cameras provide footage of crimes that is then sent to the SAPS’s investigating officers as evidence.”

Le Roux said he was not able to provide detailed information of how many cameras had been added over the past five years.

He said the cameras also served functions other than combating crime, including “traffic management and offence monitoring, by-law monitoring, crime prevention and evidence, fire detection and prevention, medical assistance and event and incident monitoring”.

Le Roux said the City’s CCTV, Radio Communication, Camera Response and Video Unit works on a maintenance budget of between R5 million and R6m for the entire system, including contracted technicians for the year.

Owner of Iron Curtain Security, Craig van der Merwe, said there had been a steady increase in people having CCTV cameras installed to catch criminals on private properties and businesses.

He said there were a large variety of cameras on the market and the City most likely used the Internet Protocol (IP) system, which has cameras “at the high end” that offer better resolution.

“Using IPs you get licence plate recognition cameras that can get licence plates at even reasonable speeds, and then you get cameras with a large infrared range to see clearly at night.

“There are many types,” he said.

Van der Merwe said cameras could assist with “a range of things like catching criminals and assisting businesses to function better”.

“The security benefit is that you will find there are lower rates of burglary and it is an overall effective deterrent of crime.”

Van der Merwe said installing a CCTV system could cost anything from R5000 to more than R100 000, depending on the number of cameras installed as well as the type of cameras.

Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) spokesperson Carola Koblitz said they do not operate any CCTV cameras around the city, but said they equip the CCID public safety officers with wearable body-worn video camera units, an “entirely different operating system to the stationery CCTV units that the City runs all across the metro”.

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Cape Argus