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Cape Town Law Enforcement Officers Get Equipped with Body, Dash Cameras

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In a bid to strengthen community safety and enhance law enforcement accountability, the City of Cape Town has begun to deploy dash and body cameras to its officers. The initiative, part of a broader technological advancement strategy, aims to not only provide robust evidence collection but also foster public trust in the actions of law enforcement. Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis confirmed that about 800 officers would receive body cameras, while 300 patrol vehicles will have dash cameras installed.

Officials note that the move has already seen positive outcomes; dashboard cameras installed in highway patrol vehicles in the previous year have demonstrated effectiveness. The new body cameras will work in tandem with existing technologies such as drones and shot-spotting mechanisms, which detect gunfire in volatile areas. This multi-faceted approach, while enhancing officer safety, also aids in facilitating successful convictions with robust, high-quality evidence gathering.

The dash and body camera technologies come with valuable features, such as automatic number plate recognition and the capability for the videos to be live-streamed or recorded at a central control hub. This latest rollout furthers the city's commitment to utilise advanced technologies for public safety, part of an investment budgeted at R860-million over the coming three years. Key components of the investment include the use of drones, aerial surveillance, and Licence Plate Recognition.

According to city officials, global evidence indicates a decrease in attacks on enforcement officers following the introduction of these technologies. The city intends a progressive deployment, aiming to outfit every officer and vehicle over the next few years, thereby solidifying the alliance between technology and law enforcement for a safer Cape Town.

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