CID aims to expand camera network

Sea Point CID controller room where culprits get traced through the multiple LPR camera network.

The Sea Point City Improvement District (SPCID) has called on the community to help them grow the licence plate recognition (LPR) camera network, which, they say has contributed to fighting crime in the Sea Point area.

The sophisticated camera network has the ability to read a number plate of a vehicle and cross-check it on a database which can be accessed by the SAPS.

“The system is so powerful because it has a user group, which is now sitting close to 81 different networks with areas such as Claremont, Rondebosch, CBD, Brackenfell and other areas helping each other,” said SPCID project manager Jacques Weber.

He said the Sea Point community started this project with only four LPR cameras when it was not uncommon for serious crimes to take place in Camps Bay just about every day.

“The Sea Point community, through the CPF and the SPCID, raised money to install cameras and over the four years we have managed to install more than 65 cameras,” he said.

Mr Weber said the SPCID had been the biggest financial contributor to the system.

The entire project is run by volunteers in different areas.

Mr Weber shared a recent incident in which the SPCID was notified of an armed robbery which took place at a store on Main Road. Two SPCID vehicles responded to the call and established that the store had been robbed and suspects fled in a vehicle parked in a nearby side road.

The officers immediately notified the CID CCTV controller who began to shift through camera footage and were able to identify the vehicle.

“The vehicle only had one number plate, but CID controller managed to trace the vehicle’s routes and managed to obtain the registration number using multiple cameras,” Mr Weber explained.

“The information was handed over to the Sea Point SAPS detective branch who obtained the ownership details of the vehicle and two suspects were arrested by the Sea Point SAPS on a case of armed robbery.

“Had these cameras not been there, the police would’ve had no leads,” he said.

Mr Weber described this project as a “game changer in Sea Point”, adding that they had spent just over R5 million over the years.

“We’re asking for donations because, like any type of technology, things get old so all the cameras need to be replaced with newer, smarter, clearer, quicker, smaller cameras, and a lot of money from the CID is actually going towards replacements instead of new ones because you always want to keep the system at the newest level,” he said.

For more information, or to get involved, contact Mr Weber at Jacques@jacquesweber.net