R14 million for new cameras to nab traffic offenders

The City of Cape Town’s safety and security directorate plans to invest R14 million in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology in the next few months.

According to the City, this will be used to retrofit existing CCTV cameras with ANPR technology and to install similar technology in law enforcement vehicles. The directorate first started experimenting with ANPR technology in 2010 and now has five traffic vehicles kitted with ANPR installations. It is also used at roadblocks where an ANPR camera is mounted on a tripod. The bus and minibus-taxi (BMT) lane and average speed over distance (ASOD) camera systems also make use of ANPR technology.

The cameras can identify:

* Outstanding warrants of arrest on a particular number plate;

* Whether a motor vehicle has been suspended;

* Mismatched number plates (plates that do not belong to that particular vehicle);

* Unlicensed vehicles; and

* Stolen vehicles

The City said R8 million is to be spent on ANPR hardware for vehicle installations and a further R6 million for static installations with existing Metro police-operated CCTV cameras. Approximately 100 CCTV cameras, or 25 percent of the department’s 436 cameras, will be retrofitted with ANPR capabilities with these funds.

“CCTV footage has already proven its worth in the fight against crime as it helps law enforcement agencies to respond immediately to incidents. It also assists with mapping crime hot spots, which can then influence deployment patterns. The number plate recognition technology is the latest layer to our arsenal,” said Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith.