Pretoria - Thirteen drone pilots from the SAPS have received certificates which will enable them to operate drones that will assist in fighting crime in Gauteng.
This is part of the Gauteng provincial government's effort to use cutting-edge technologies like drones, CCTV cameras, and e-panic buttons to stop crime.
Community Safety MEC Mazibuko said this was a joint initiative by security company Fidelity ADT and UDS Drone Solutions.
Mazibuko said the plan is to train more officers to use drones and deploy them in high crime zone areas like Diepsloot.
She also warned officers not to use their certificates to get bribes.
“This papers are not for you to open your boots and take bribes. This is for you to go and monitor crime-ridden areas as we are busy rolling out other technologies.”
According to Mazibuko, Diepsloot has two CCTV cameras, however, it doesn’t seem like they are doing enough to curb the levels of crime.
“But we will continue to deploy more resources to ensure that Diepsloot is not the same.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela said using drone innovation will add to the compelling arrangement of resources and advance viable functional status in managing crime in areas of interest.
“With drones, you can fix a lot of problems in your hand. Through embracing technology, the province can and will curtail crime and improve police visibility.
“Policing without the support of technology is difficult especially in places like Diepsloot and its not only Diepsloot, in Gauteng we have close to 700 informal settlements where there are no basic services and the environmental design of the areas is bad, police can’t access the areas. So with this technology, we will be able to extend our surveillance in those areas,” Mawela said.
Early this month, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said Cabinet has supported moves by the police to set aside R2 billion to procure drones and vehicles in a bid to intensify the fight against crime.
She added that R65 million has also been allocated to the top 30 crime-intensive stations to address murder and other contact offences.
The 13 qualified drone pilots passing out today are now certified by civil aviation. More members will be added to ensure police visibility across Gauteng.#GrowingASaferGauteng pic.twitter.com/6NbSxLY6bp— GP Department of Community Safety (@GP_CommSafety) June 21, 2023