Fighting crime with cameras

Members of the Edenvale Community Policing Forum with Edenvale Police Station’s station commander. They are Mike Anderson and Oliver Manickum. In front are Col Sudesh Sookraj and Sheryl Damerell.

Crime fighting in Edenvale took a step forward with the recent implementation of crime prevention cameras in the town.

The project was started by the Edenvale Community Policing Forum (ECPF) in partnership with the SAPS and community.

By the end of the year, ECPF hopes to have installed 100 cameras throughout the area.

There are currently two operational cameras in town. The second camera went live on July 10.

Sheryl Damerell, ECPF chairperson, said the project is being rolled out by the Neighbourhood Watch.

“We can see the community’s excitement on social media. We want this project to succeed and improve Edenvale,” said Damerell.

Also read: Sebenza CPF looks to 2018

Executive ECPF member and head of the Neighbourhood Watch Mike Anderson said cameras will be used to investigate follow-home robberies, robberies and heists.

“We can’t reveal too much information, but this project will assist Edenvale,” said Anderson.

“Edenvale detectives will use information provided via the cameras to plot intelligence and trace the movement of criminals.”

In order to ensure the project is successful, ECPF has partnered with strategic partners.

Anderson said the cameras will be monitored by a private company at a private facility.

Members of the Edenvale Community Policing Forum with Edenvale Police Station’s station commander. They are Mike Anderson and Oliver Manickum. In front are Col Sudesh Sookraj and Sheryl Damerell.

He said no one affiliated to Edenvale will monitor the cameras.

“The cameras will operate on the same network. If there is a crime, the company will notify the SAPS and security companies to respond,” he said.

The 100 cameras will include cameras from Edenvale City Improvement District and security companies.

Some security companies already involved include Top Security, Lionsgate Security Services, Night Guard, SOS and Savika Armed Response.

“We need community members and investors to get on board with the project,” said Oliver Manickum, an ECPF member assisting Anderson.

Also read: Bedfordview CPF: Red vests issued to parking attendants

“Before, crime-fighting was always reactive. Once the project has been implemented it will become proactive.”

Edenvale station commander Col Sudesh Sookraj said the use of cameras in Edenvale is an example of innovative policing.

“We need to congratulate our CPF for starting this project and getting it off the ground,” said Sookraj.

“This project will tell criminals that Edenvale is serious about them and putting them behind bars.”

Anderson said each camera costs about R20 000 in total. The project will cost approximately R2-million.

“They are expensive because these are hi-tech cameras.”

In order to raise funds for the cameras, ECPF has started selling bags of charcoal for R40.

Also read: Bedfordview CPF launches parking attendant programme TODAY

Each bag sold provides R10 towards the project.

“The faster the money is raised the faster the cameras will go up,” said Anderson.

Damerell said the funds raised will be deposited into a new ECPF bank account.

“We understand that the community may have concerns about the money raised and we will be transparent going forward,” said Damerell.

“Our books are open to anyone if they would like to look at them.”

To assist with fund-raising visit the ECPF Facebook page.

  AUTHOR
Stephan Lehman

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