There is no escaping the sophisticated security camera network that is steadily covering more and more of the country. That was the lesson a group of suspects learned in the Eastern Cape this weekend, when they were arrested in connection with an incident in the Western Cape.
Their arrest on Sunday (9 September) follows an alert message picked by the licence plate recognition (LPR) camera network in Port Elizabeth. The LPR network has been installed in large parts of South Africa, and shares a database of crime related information with operators and law enforcement agencies across the country.
“The LPR camera network in PE is monitored from the Community Information Centre (CIC), a facility we helped set up as a one-stop-shop for access to all municipal and law enforcement services in the city. Operator Samantha Bosch received the report about the suspicious vehicle when it was first spotted in Lorraine and then in Walmer. She was able to alert the Flying Squad, who quickly located the vehicle and arrested its occupants,” says Ryan Britz, Port Elizabeth branch manager at Fidelity ADT.
The vehicle in question was registered on the LPR database as being connected to a series of incidents of crime in Cape Town, including an attempted burglary in Goodwood.
LPR cameras have been strategically placed across Port Elizabeth. Camera operators based in the CIC are trained to be able to interpret the information they get, and quickly and effectively dispatch the correct response.
Britz says the CIC has become an integral part of assisting the people of Port Elizabeth in dealing with any kind of emergency. It was launched in February last year, and is housed at the Fidelity ADT offices in Fairview. The CIC can be reached on 086 12 12 210 or 041 363 5136.
“The suspects in this case might have thought they had evaded apprehension by driving to the Eastern Cape. Little did they know that Big Brother was watching,” concluded Britz.