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Joburg adding more cameras to its surveillance network



Security services company Fidelity ADT, in collaboration with Vumacam, has announced the implementation of an R60 million SafeCity initiative involving 1,850 newly installed and activated security cameras across the city.

The Fidelity Services Group said that out of the nearly 2,000 cameras, 350 would be installed in previously unprotected areas.

Through this partnership with Vumacam, Fidelity ADT and other providers will access the full network of over 7,000 of Vumacam’s cameras to gain city-wide awareness critical to understanding criminal patterns and assist with crime prevention and investigations, said Fidelity.

Wahl Bartmann, the group’s CEO, said that city-wide access to camera networks outside common areas of operation assists with crime prevention and allows more monitoring.

He added that surveillance software has increased in complexity, with some using artificial intelligence technology.

The camera setups are also expected to protect strategic public infrastructure from crime, such as cell towers and traffic lights – making the day-to-day lives of Joburgers less interrupted.

Residents in a surveyed area can also get crime updates through a dedicated Telegram app group.

SafeCity further prioritises safer recreational areas, including various green belts across the city, said Bartmann. This is done through collaboration with City Parks.

“Increased cameras across arterial routes and green spaces mean that recreational activities such as running, walking and cycling can be done with greater peace of mind knowing that there is another level of security,” he said.

“Public spaces are often a challenge,” said Bartmann. “With SafeCity, we can now be alerted to any incidents of vandalism, illegal dumping and theft in public spaces so we can quickly contact the necessary authorities to ensure the perpetrators are swiftly dealt with.”

“The initiative connects private security providers and SAPS through Business Against Crime South Africa’s (BACSA) Eyes and Ears (E2) Fusion Centre promoting more collaboration,” said Bartmann.

Fidelity Services Group has called on communities in Joburg to assist in collaborating.

Security in South Africa has gone downhill further.  Security experts and insurer Auto & General warned that there had been a 40% increase in the number of burglaries reported in the first two weeks of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022.

“The frequency of load shedding is one of the reasons for this spike,” added the group.

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