CCTV footage is proving to be a powerful ally in the fight against crime in Joburg’s central business district.
Since the installation of CCTV cameras in various areas in the CBD 13-odd years ago, many reports have stated that the cameras have made a marked impact in reducing various crimes. The New Age also reported on Monday that Johannesburg Metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said that, since the installation of several more such cameras, there have been no cash heists, bank robberies or ATM robberies. Reportedly, more than 400 cameras have been set up so far, a figure that has almost doubled since May last year.
According to The New Age, the CCTV office in the CBD now has more than 24 operators and a team of nine law enforcers, made up of people from Metro police, the SA Police Service, the Johannesburg Roads Agency and City Power. They are responsible for monitoring as many as 411 cameras.
The cameras have captured many crimes, such as a hijacking in Jeppestown in May last year, as reported by the North Eastern Tribune:
An example of the benefit of the cameras was seen in March when two men were seen removing copper cables from a manhole on the corner of Diagonal and Helen Joseph streets in the CBD. Metro police officers responded swiftly to a tip-off and arrested the two suspects as they tried to flee the scene.
Member of the mayoral committee for public safety councillor Sello Lemao was quoted as saying: “The use of CCTV [cameras] to fight crime remains an important part of our efforts to reduce theft of municipal infrastructure, assaults, robberies, car hijackings and lawlessness in the City. We are working with police, the Johannesburg Roads Agency and City Power to reduce theft and vandalism and we are also now able to effectively deal with such acts through the courts, which hand out heavy sentences.”
In May last year, Minnaar told the North Eastern Tribune how helpful the CCTV cameras were. He said: “Patrol officers are assisted immensely by operators of CCTV cameras, and as soon as the operator suspects crime or wrongdoing, officers will attend to the scene quickly.”
He further stated that stolen goods were returned to those who were victims of crime as soon as the court used it for evidence.
– Caxton News Service