Metro cops get smart with CCTV

EThekwini metro police commissioner Sibonelo Mchunu is excited about his unit taking over the city’s CCTV cameras. | Durban Metro Police Service

EThekwini metro police commissioner Sibonelo Mchunu is excited about his unit taking over the city’s CCTV cameras. | Durban Metro Police Service

Published Jun 12, 2024


Durban — The eThekwini metro police’s crime-fighting plans have received a major boost following the arrival of smart policing equipment.

The equipment, which included Close Circuit Television (CCTV), was handed over to the metro police recently. Metro police head Sibonelo Mchunu on Monday told the Daily News that the arrival of the equipment was a major boost to his department’s effort to fight crime, especially in the city’s central business district.

Mchunu believes that placing CCTV cameras under the control of the metro police will be the key to fighting crime in the city because crimes can be detected by the control room and responded to immediately. The control room will direct teams on the ground. This includes night time activities.

Key components of the smart policing solution include body-worn cameras, dash cameras in police vehicles, and the integration of CCTV infrastructure with the command centre. The system was first discussed and approved at the City’s executive committee a few years back but was placed under disaster management instead of metro police. In March this year, the Exco approved the placing of the equipment under metro police.

Mchunu added that the plan to install CCTV cameras in the outlying areas of the City, which included townships, was under way.

Mchunu announced that metro police will devise an integrated approach to fighting crime working with the community policing forums and eThekwini Neighbourhood Watch.

During the approval, the Exco said the system would improve policing performance and effectiveness and contain costs that are attached to policing, which include glaring staff shortages that compel the unit to operate on overtime.

The City has been under a lot of pressure from all quarters including the business community which has been complaining about crime especially, along the city’s beaches. The Daily News recently published a story where the owners of a popular hotel in South Beach decided to close it and convert it into a student residence as tourists were no longer visiting because of crime.

A vehicle that was used by a robbery gang was left riddled with bullets after a shootout with police in Harding, inland from KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast. | Supplied

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, police shot and killed four suspects in Harding in the lower south of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said police were responding to a robbery that took place at a mall in Harding. Police said a businessman went into a bank inside the mall and withdrew an undisclosed amount of money and as he made his way out of the mall, he was accosted by the suspects who robbed him of the cash. Netshiunda said that police approached the suspects and during an exchange of gunshots four suspects died.

“Police are still chasing after more suspects who fled the scene. A firearm as well as the money which was robbed was found in possession of the suspects,” said Netshiunda.

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