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City of Cape Town hits back at criticism of its CCTV roll-out plan

Safety and security member JP Smith said the CCTV roll-out plan was based on numerous sources of data that were cross-referenced. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Safety and security member JP Smith said the CCTV roll-out plan was based on numerous sources of data that were cross-referenced. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 3, 2022

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has defended its 2021-2026 CCTV roll-out plan which the opposition parties and anti-crime activists described as ineffective.

Safety and security member JP Smith said the criticism from opposition parties was confounding, as the members were represented on the Safety and Security Portfolio Committee that endorsed the plan a few weeks before it was presented and later endorsed by the Council on Thursday last week.

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ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe dismissed the plan as a copy and paste while GOOD Party councillor Suzette Little said installing cameras across the city had not stopped the crime spiralling out of control in many communities.

However, Smith said the CCTV roll-out plan was based on numerous sources of data that were cross-referenced, including contributions from police to the crime threat analysis on which the updated plan was based.

Smith said CCTV cameras only recorded crimes that happened in the view of the cameras and it was dependent on police, NPA, and the Department of Justice to ensure that investigations took place and that criminals were arrested, charged, and convicted.

He said as little as 15% of the CCTV incidents detected were requested and footage used by the police in achieving convictions, something which he said the City had placed on record with the police.

Smith further said vandalism of the CCTV infrastructure was a challenge, but the rate of repairs and maintenance was impressive.

On the criticism around the Shot Spotter initiative which Hanover Park CPF which PRO Kashiefa Mohammed said was a failure and Smith should be held accountable for, he said the pilot project which was rolled out in the two areas with the highest rate of gun violence led to the City increasing its firearm confiscations by a factor of five.

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“It’s very short-sighted to suggest that investment and technology and social development and upliftment programmes are mutually exclusive. The funding spent on technology helps prevent violent crime which allows for youth programmes, job creation, and quality education that are all paralysed by the violence that continues to ravage so many of our communities,” he said.

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Cape Argus

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