Vumacam nailing criminals

Vumacam and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) have reported multiple successes in the fight against crime in South Africa’s biggest city.

These successes resulted from the SafeCity Initiative, which combines private and public law enforcement resources and leverages Vumacam’s vast network of street pole-fitted cameras.

It includes integrating Vumacam’s camera feeds with AI-powered incident detection and numberplate recognition into JMPD’s Integrated Intelligence Operations Centre (IIOC).

“The technology has delivered numerous successes that have begun to turn the tide against crime in the city,” Vumacam said.

“The system is now fully operational within Johannesburg’s IIOC, enabling a substantial number of arrests to be made using the system, with a positive impact on the city.”

100 days since the system became fully operational, the SafeCity Initiative has dispatched 1,342 response vehicles and effected 58 arrests and 39 vehicle impoundings.

“The arrests made include those of multiple suspects allegedly involved in shootouts, vehicle thefts, armed robbery, murder, a drug bust, fraud scams and confidence tricks,” Vumacam said.

In addition, 104 vehicles were intercepted, their occupants questioned and/or apprehended, and 427 by-law violations were reported thanks to the cameras.

“Notably, firearms were recovered in a number of these apprehensions — a powerful outcome of the value of technology supporting the JMPD, as well as SAPS and private security companies to make public spaces and communities safer,” Vumacam said.

Vumacam also shared a presentation detailing some of its notable crime-fighting successes. These included the arrests of five fraudsters, six scammers, and three phone snatchers.

Click to enlarge. Credit: Vumacam and JMPD

In addition to clamping down on crime, Vumacam cameras helped detect a fire at a building in Berea on 17 September 2023, and helped to dispatch fire services to the scene.

Johannesburg mayor Kabelo Gwamanda also praised Vumacam’s technology as a key element in the city’s swift response to a recent fire at the Usindiso building.

Vumacam chief commercial officer Michael Varney said the SafeCity Initiative was delivering “real results” for the people of Gauteng.

“Working closely with our partners, which include key private security and public-sector law enforcement, we have shown that advanced technology is the key to ensuring a robust and rapid response to the crime that plagues the city,” Varney said.

“We have seen up to 400 interceptions across Gauteng monthly, driven by our advanced technology and the power of collaboration with our partners.”

Vumacam said the initiative continued to grow as new partners recognised the power of CCTV to tackle crime from a holistic, city-wide perspective.

“SafeCity’s security partners have access to the full network of CCTV cameras to gain city-wide situational awareness,” Vumacam said.

“This is critical to understanding criminal patterns and supporting crime prevention and investigations.”

Expansion beyond Johannesburg

While Vumacam operates an extensive network of well over 5,000 cameras in Johannesburg, it recently expanded to Tshwane.

The first phase of this rollout will see at least 185 overview and 370 licence plate recognition cameras go live in 33 wards by the end of the year.

Varney said the uptake in Tshwane has been impressive, and Vumacam believed its network could also turn the tide against crime in South Africa’s capital.

Vumacam said the densification of the camera network across regions closed the gaps where criminals could hide, helping those who may not currently benefit from having cameras in their area.

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Vumacam nailing criminals