A holistic overview and the workings of the Constantia Valley Community Control Room (CVIC)

BKM Watch, Constantia NW, Constantia Hills NW, Kirstenhof NW, Nova Constantia NW, Plumstead Watch, Southfield Watch, Tokai NW joined hands to create the Consolidated Constantia Valley Watches Association (CCVWA). Invited to participate and be part of CVWA was PHEW NW. Associate NW is Wynberg NW.

With the ongoing support from Fidelity ADT, the Constantia Valley Information Centre (CVIC) was established in the Constantia Valley. Fidelity ADT have provided the controllers to man the 24/7 community radio. The LPR (licence plate recognition) camera controllers, 24/7, supplied by Verifier at cost (no markup) and are paid for proportionally by each participating NW based on the number of LPR cameras in their footprint area.

A community radio network which is utilized by volunteer resident patrollers from all neighborhood watches across the valley, 8 different security service providers, several guarding companies, tow truck companies, shopping malls, residential estates and by committed members of the 3 police stations being Diepriver, Kirstenhof and Wynberg, as well as local Cape Town City Law Enforcement Auxiliaries. This provides for effective, fast and cohesive responses from relevant role players. The valley community radio frequency rental costs and licence fees are paid for by Constantia Community Police Sub-Forum (Constantia Watch).

This localized community hub (CVIC) provides a real sense of local effectiveness. Reports can be made to the number 086 000 2669, for anything ranging from suspicious activity; criminal incidents; burst water pipes; accidents; power failures, snakes, medical, missing persons, lost pets and more. The controllers will then activate the relevant role players to deal with the specific issue reported and verified.

Participating NWs have already raised and spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions of rands on the implementation of the LPR (licence plate recognition) cameras and the CVIC Control Room – with additional camera points being added as further funds are raised. The CCVWA area covers approximately 33 000 properties and is already proving to be a solid working model of community co-operation.

Each NW operates autonomously, however all share the same common values and goals. A few local businesses contribute to some of the operational and running costs of the community control room. The bulk of the costs are carried by Constantia Community Police Sub-Forum (Constantia Watch).

Some of the costs:

  • Rental
  • LPR controllers x 3 plus reliever (when on leave, sick etc.)
  • Electricity (also has air conditioner to maintain temperature for servers), electric fence around property
  • Generators and fuel for load shedding – although now we have a fully installed Inverter and Batteries so CVIC never goes down
  • Water
  • Telephone – huge bills – calling responders, SAPS, Metro, Fire, First Aid, patrollers
  • Insurance of servers and all equipment in CVIC – value approximately R1 million
  • Toiletries, tea/coffee, sugar etc.
  • Maintenance of high sites for wireless transmissions of camera reads from various points back to CVIC
  • General repairs and maintenance

Fidelity ADT sponsored Radio controllers:

  • Answer radio and coordinate activities
  • Log all patroller, SAPS and LE book-on to spreadsheet
  • Log all reports to City and references obtained
  • Assist with LPR matters – search on cloud for MVs
  • Assist with LPR alerts when other controller on a break or busy
  • Log calls for assistance from residents – many of whom are neither members of nor contributors to their NW
  • Phoning responders and patrollers
  • Phoning Armed Response Officers (ARO) who request a call to report an open gate or something sensitive that should not be on radio
  • Log incidents to Mobile Alerts
  • Post incident summaries to various NW EXCO groups for their info
  • Dealing with stressed/emotional/frustrated/resident/patrollers/responders
  • Answer queries and provide guidance to controllers at other Fidelity ADT community hubs such as RCID and N1 City

LPR controllers (costs paid by participating/contributing NWs)

  • Verify every alert received
  • Ensure that details are correct prior to posting to LPR responders group – note these groups are for ACTIVE responders – not for people to know what is going on
  • If Motor Vehicle (MV) allegedly stolen or wanted for a case, first checks are done with SAPS, and direct communication with investigating officers – only if still sought/wanted is alert then put out – cannot afford any wrongful stops/arrests etc. – liability
  • Coordinate responders to find MV
  • Follow up with SAPS
  • Do diary update on data record of status and what transpired when stopped
  • Obtaining information such as occupant details, arrest details, evidence handed in etc. and adding to data record to assist SAPS
  • Extracting a report on every MV stopped and providing same to SAPS
  • Search cloud when persons query a suspect vehicle
  • Using cloud searches to determine false plates, cloned MVs etc.
  • Count Monthly STATS
  • Get instructions and other behind scenes work with SAPS re incidents in the Valley and elsewhere if MV has or could affect our valley residents/businesses
  • Respond to emails on CVNWPATROLS
  • Camera Checks to ensure working, reading plates, views obstructed etc.
  • CCTV Footage Review work for Residents/Business Burglary/Burglary Residential
  • Review work for SAPS/CI/CID/DPCI
  • Provide statements on downloading footage where required by SAPS for court case and docket purposes
  • Attend court as required by SAPS to testify on footage downloads and my findings
  • Monitor Greenbelt trail cams and activate resources
  • Assisting Radio Control with the phone when busy on a call already.
  • Assisting Radio Control with the phone when on a break.
  • Assisting Radio Control with logging complains to 107/CCT Service Request.
  • Dealing with stressed/emotional/frustrated/resident/patrollers/responders.

Did you also know that?

  • CVIC has direct lines of communications with all local SAPS stations including the SAPS Command Centre
  • CVIC has direct lines of communication with the SAPS Flying Squad
  • CVIC has direct radio communication with the City Traffic Management and Disaster Management Centre in Goodwood
  • CVIC is manned 24/7 by trained, experienced and PSIRA registered controllers
  • CVIC communicates and shares/receives criminal related information from many other areas across the country, especially those in the Western Cape
  • The CVIC has been approved by SAPS who maintain oversight over its workings.

Visit www.cvwa.org.za for further information and scrolling list of sponsors at the top of the page.