Law enforcement and security role players in the Deep South need accurate information on crimes and they need it as fast as possible. This, says a local CPF Chairperson, is often the factor which determines whether or not a suspect is tracked down and nabbed before getting away.
“At our monitoring centre, we have access to the latest modern technology when it comes to monitoring and communication. The network at our disposal means we can broadcast reports of suspect vehicles or suspicious persons wanted in connection with crimes, but it all depends on incidents being reported to us. We need the public’s support and cooperation,” says Trevor Vroom, Constantia Community Police Sub-Forum Chairperson.
The Constantia Valley Monitoring Centre is a main coordination point for armed response, neighbourhood watch and law enforcement agencies that are spread across Constantia, Constantia Hills, Bergvliet, Kirstenhof, Kreupelbosch, Meadowridge, Plumstead, Southfield, Tokai and Wynberg.
It is operational around the clock, and deals with incidents relating to crime as well as other municipal service delivery issues in the area, missing persons, snakes, and disaster management.
“One of the centre’s key technological features is the series of license plate recognition (LPR) and other greenbelt cameras it monitors. This gives us the ability to quickly track down any suspect vehicles and coordinate a response. In order to do this effectively, we need accurate information such as the registration number, make and model, and colour. Considering how far a vehicle can travel at a modest 60km/h, it becomes important to alert us as quickly as you can before the vehicle leaves our area,” says Vroom.
CCTV and human detection cameras across the area provide the same level of security monitoring, he adds.
One of the armed response companies that contribute to the centre and makes use of its monitoring services, is Fidelity ADT. The company’s Western Cape General Manager Jade Hanning says a single coordinated monitoring facility such as this is often a game-changer in local safety efforts.
“It is often when there is a need for joint, coordinated operations that centres such as this one prove its worth. We often cooperate with our partners in the SAPS and Law Enforcement to carry out patrols or other operations across the area, and it is at this centre where such activity is best coordinated,” he explains.
Hanning also agrees that the contribution made by ordinary residents is something that cannot be exaggerated or over-emphasised.
“Residents are our eyes and ears, and we depend on them to report suspicious behaviour to the centre. It is important to also consider why behaviour is deemed to be possibly suspicious – someone walking down a public road during the day is not in itself something that should raise an alarm, but if this same person is obviously looking over walls or into parked cars along a street then there might be reason to be concerned.”
Hanning says reports of suspicious behaviour should include where the person was seen, a description of items of clothing or other distinguishable or unique features, as well as the direction in which the person was moving.
Vroom says residents of the area have reason to be proud of the centre.
“The centre brings the best of modern technology, the experience and resources of law enforcement and security companies, as well as caring and considerate local residents into one coordinated facility. It is a winning recipe in the fight against crime.”
Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd on behalf of Fidelity ADT