Durban’s police force is getting a range of new technology enhancements to help it to fight crime, including state-of-the-art vehicles, body cameras, and tasers.
The eThekwini municipality unveiled its new state-of-the-art police vehicles at the annual Govtech conference in Durban on Tuesday 29 October.
The vehicles are fitted with cameras which can read a registration number while in transit, providing officers with the owner’s identity and information.
The onboard system will also pull information from a national database including the driver’s licensing details, outstanding fines, and traffic violations.
The vehicles are also fitted with dashboard cameras where the video stream is continuous and is uploaded to a cloud storage site.
Durban Metro police spokesperson senior superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said the cars are fitted with their “own Wi-Fi system which makes this connectivity possible”.
The cars equipped with this technology shown at the Govtech conference were Volkswagen Golf 7s.
However, Sewpersad said that different cars will be fitted with this technology to ensure that they are not easily recognisable to criminals.
Sewpersad said that the first of these police vehicles will be in use by the start of the 2019 holiday season.
Body cameras and tasers
The second phase of eThekwini metro police’s technology drive will see officers equipped with body cameras and tasers.
A Department of Police spokesperson said in June that body cameras were high on the agenda of the SA Police Service.
However, no implementation date for body cameras has been set because the department is waiting for more information related to funding.
“Body cameras will be used as – but not limited to – a safety measure to protect our men and women in blue during operations,” the spokesperson said.
“They will also be used for data capturing as the world is moving in the direction of the 4th industrial revolution and to advance policing.”
Sewpersad indicated that this new technology could be rolled out in time for the festive season.