Human Rights

Eagle-eyed CCTV operators take a bite out of crime

The City of Cape Town’s Strategic Surveillance Unit (SSU) has been instrumental in the recovery of four illegal firearms and ammunition in the last four weeks. CCTV operators in the Metro Police SSU have led enforcement staff to firearm recoveries and related arrests in recent weeks. The City’s CCTV operators laid eyes on suspects in Hanover Park and Athlone and alerted the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Metro Police, who made the arrests.

On 10 August 2018, at 13:30, operators noticed a group of men loitering in Athlone. One of them was then spotted moving to a nearby open field and dropping a blue plastic bag next to a canal in 9th Avenue. Metro Police officers responded and recovered a firearm and 17 rounds of ammunition. They also arrested one suspect who was detained at Athlone SAPS.

Just more than a week later, on 19 August 2018, at 01:30, camera operators spotted three males next to a block of flats in Hanover Park � two of whom were handling a firearm. SAPS was alerted and later confirmed the arrest of two suspects and the recovery of a 9mm firearm and six rounds of ammunition. One of the suspects was charged for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, while the second was charged for possession of ammunition.

On Friday, 31 August 2018, at 22:37, a CCTV operator noticed a man carrying a firearm and pointing it at a group of people on a street corner in Kewtown, Athlone. SAPS responded and found one male in possession of the firearm at a nearby house. He was arrested for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and was detained at Athlone SAPS. A second suspect was searched, but he didn’t have anything on him.

On Tuesday, 4 September 2018, at 00:25, CCTV operators spotted and monitored a suspect who was in possession of a firearm in the same area of Kewtown. SAPS were informed and responded. They managed to arrest the suspect and recover the firearm.

‘We continue to invest heavily in CCTV infrastructure because it serves as a force multiplier and helps direct resources to crimes in progress, as highlighted by the recent arrests. The Kewtown installations happened just more than a year ago, courtesy of ward allocation funding, and these successes prove that it was a worthwhile investment.

‘More ward councillors are coming forward with requests to have a CCTV presence in their areas and I thank them for their contribution to this aspect of our policing. It’s also worth noting that the South African Police Service responded in three of the four cases and this underscores the importance of inter-agency cooperation in the fight against crime,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

Other enforcement successes of the past week:

The Metro Police Department arrested 27 suspects on a range of charges including drug possession; possession of illegal firearm and ammunition; and possession of a stolen vehicle.

During an operation in Kraaifontein on Saturday 8 September 2018, officers arrested three suspects aged 22, 37 and 46 for possession of dagga, a zip gun and two rounds of ammunition.

In Green Point on Thursday 5 September 2018, officers recovered a hijacked vehicle after a high-speed chase (pictured). The driver refused to stop when instructed, and sped away. Officers gave chase and the driver lost control and collided with a wall. One of the suspects broke his leg when he fell in an attempt to run away. It was later found that the car was hijacked in Bellville. The trio were arrested for the possession of a hijacked vehicle; reckless and negligent driving; and malicious damage to property.

The Metro Police Department also arrested 44 motorists for driving under the influence during roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints conducted in the last week.

The Cape Town Traffic Service arrested 97 suspects, impounded 37 vehicles and issued 3044 fines for various other offences. Of those arrested, 89 were for driving under the influence and the rest were for reckless and negligent driving.

In Camps Bay on Saturday 8 September, just before 08:00, a taxi driver assaulted a traffic officer while she attempted to impound his vehicle. The officer sustained lacerations to her knee and also injured her hand.

The taxi was impounded and the driver was arrested for assault and resisting arrest. He was later taken to the Camps Bay police station where a case docket was opened.

‘This type of incident is completely unacceptable and is sadly becoming far too commonplace. I hope that the criminal justice system metes out the appropriate punishment to the suspect to send a message to others. I also wish the officer a speedy recovery. The City will assist with counselling through our employee assistance programme,’ added Alderman Smith.

Source: City of Cape Town