Mayor backs tech investment for security

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, speaks while Chris Willemse, chair of the CBCRA looks on.

Becoming tech-savvy was key to combating crime. This was the sentiment expressed by Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis when he addressed about 200 residents at the Camps Bay and Clifton Ratepayers’ Association AGM.

At the meeting, which took place at Camps Bay High School on Monday November 7, Mr Hill-Lewis also spoke about a security, load shedding, and homelessness.

Referring to the deployment of additional LEAP officers in August, Mr Hill-Lewis said: “We spent a billion rand, it must be said,a in great partnership with the Western Cape provincial government under the leadership of Premier Alan Winde to roll out now 1300 officers of our own in the worst affected crime hot spots of the city.

“And the wonderful news for South Africa is that this model is working. This is only city in the country where violent crime is going down and it’s going down in the 10 major hot spots where we have LEAP officers.”

The mayor acknowledged that SAPS officers work hard, but due to financial constraints, they are unable to combat crime as effectively. Camps Bay SAPS has only one operational vehicle.

Mr Hill-Lewis said the City would be investing in crime-fighting technology that would provide officers with better intelligence and backup, including the use of drones to assist in the arrest of suspects.

“Recently we rolled out a highway patrol unit and they have dashboard cameras that have licence plate recognition technology, the officers have body cameras and as they drive they can pull over drivers who are flagged as dangerous, or who have outstanding arrest warrants as well as identifying stolen cars.

“So instead of pulling people over randomly and try to get lucky in finding someone wanted for something, they can now operate smartly, soon we will roll out this technology to every traffic vehicle in the city,” he said.

Mr Hill-Lewis confirmed that the City had hired a chief technology officer to create a system that would improve the city’s safety in the near future.

“She is South Africa’s very first chief technology officer working for a law enforcement agency and her job is to design a tech investment pipeline that will make Cape Town safer over the coming years,” he said.

The residents at the Camps Bay high school hall listened attentively to the mayor.