Sandton Central’s new closed-circuit television (CCTV) system has made a positive contribution to city-wide crime-fighting since it officially launched on 1 August 2020.
“To date, 232 of the planned 278 cameras are operating, and the results of the project have been well received. It has had a favourable impact on the management of Sandton Central and made a tangible improvement to safety in the district and beyond,” reports Sandton Central Management District (SCMD) District Improvement Manager Elaine Jack.
While the CCTV programme is one of several factors contributing to safety, the number of crimes in Sandton Central has decreased since it commenced. It has also led to 85 arrests in six months for crimes committed both in and outside the district, enhancing the city’s macro-security and preventing further crimes.
It has also had a positive influence on Sandton Central’s urban management. The system has helped to spot and report potholes in the roads (61 potholes in January 2021 alone), assist broken down vehicles, manage illegal parking, report broken traffic signals and water leaks, respond to vehicle accidents, and even summon help to the scene of a gas bottle explosion.
The SCMD state-of-the-art system uses artificial intelligence to detect and respond to specific events. When an incident is spotted, it sends an alert to a central control room. A real-time video feed enables control staff to see exactly what is happening and take the best action. Its potent combination of technology and human skill is creating a safer neighbourhood with less disruption.
The urban monitoring system supports the entire security, emergency and management ecosystem in Sandton Central. It reinforces critical partnerships, such as those essential to fighting crime and maintaining good public order. These partners include the South African Police Services, which have engaged with the system, and private security companies operating for clients in the node. The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department also plays a vital role in the security and good management of the area, as do the City of Johannesburg’s emergency services and responders, and its tourism ambassadors who serve visitors to Sandton Central.
“Our collaborative approach, which strives for maximum inclusion and coordination with all parties – in the private and public sectors – makes sure that everyone is part of the solution. Adopting this style has made sure that we stay ahead of the game in terms of cohesive, integrated security and management
systems and keep pace with internationally recognised solutions. Our pioneering precinct monitoring and management model is considered a leading model in district management in Johannesburg and Gauteng. It gives us immense pleasure to share our experience of making Sandton Central better and safer with other managed districts and support safety in all the public spaces in our city and beyond,” comments Jack.
Sandton Central holds monthly simulation training exercises to continuously improve the system and skills to manage different and even multiple scenarios. Leading cities worldwide use this kind of technology and training to respond to major events and situations.
“We keep on testing and expanding the limits of our model to deliver the best responses in the right instance, even when under extreme pressure,” says Jack.
Additionally, data gathered through monitoring is analysed to identify trends and react proactively, thus consistently improving crime prevention and intelligence in the neighbourhood.
“The successes achieved to date have already highlighted the benefits of technology and innovation in urban management and safety to provide the quality experience that residents, workers, visitors and businesses in Sandton Central expect of their urban environment,” notes Jack.