Crime tracking goes digital

The SPCID’s Electronic Occurrence Book was introduced to members earlier this month.

A newly introduced digital system is enabling the Sea Point Improvement District (SPCID) to better fight crime, by identifying hot spots in the area and allocating the necessary resources to them.

This was heard at the SPCID’s annual general meeting on November 12, at the Protea Hotel, where the SPCID’s Electronic Occurrence Book was introduced to members. The system allows safety officers to electronically log incidents, and maps crime trends through the SPCID’s precinct.

These hot spots are then tracked, and additional resources are allocated respectively.

The meeting heard that in September and October the safety officers logged all their actions on the system – which has equalled over 830 actions conducted in two months or almost 14 a day – ranging from crimes and noise disturbances, to illegal parking attendants and the removal of dumped refuse.

The organisation also makes extensive use of its robust Licence Plate Recognition (LPR)/Overview Camera System, which flags vehicles that may be linked to a crime as they enter the precinct.

The system, which consists of over 80 cameras, has read over 23 million licence plates in the past year and has resulted in eight arrests within the SPCID borders, and countless more in other suburbs.

The organisation said their 28 officers made over 31 arrests in the past year, with the majority of them being for serious crimes such as robbery, theft and malicious damage to property.

There were also fines issued, vehicles impounded by the Transport Enforcement Unit, and integrated operations with law enforcement agencies.

Heather Tager, the chief operating officer, thanked the partners who assist them in their fight against crime and grime.

“Working with SAPS, Metro police, law enforcement, traffic services, the City of Cape Town, Securus Security officers and essential cleaning team, has enabled us to ensure that Sea Point remains a favourite area for visitors, residents and businesses,” she said.

SPCID chairman Jacques Weber said their officers achieved these successes despite facing many challenges caused by Covid19 and the nationwide lockdown.

“Despite facing transport difficulties, there was no absenteeism among our safety officers and cleaning team during the lockdown period and they continued to provide their services despite the personal risk they faced. We commend them, and all frontline workers, for the role they have played in making our community safer,” he said.

He added that during level 5 of the nationwide lockdown, the SPCID’s safety officers were redeployed to shopping areas to assist with an influx of street people to the area. This influx, he said, was seen in many communities neighbouring the CBD and was driven by street people moving from business districts in the hope of finding support in residential areas. This dynamic was managed through the combined intervention of the SPCID’s security officers and fieldworker.

Ward councillor Nicola Jowell added this year has brought its own challenges and there are many that need a whole-society approach.

“Never before has there been such a high level of social development interaction on the Atlantic Seaboard and I’m sure in time this partnership of various organisations will create lasting results. As we all weathered the storm of 2020, the SPCID has continued to offer their services to the precinct unabated, led from the front by Heather Tager. Well done to the members of the SPCID,” she said.

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