Joburg takes fight to street criminals with udercover inner city officers
About 80 Johannesburg cops will be deployed undercover to fight the escalating crime in the CBD.
The officers will be supported by an integrated intelligent operations centre (IOC).
Public safety MMC Michael Sun welcomed the new undercover officers who will be on the streets of the inner city as the council battles crimes.
Sun said the operations centre will monitor the city’s CCTV cameras 24 hours a day with technology such as license plate and facial recognition in order to effectively police the streets.
“The IOC Reaction Unit will bolster this crime-combating technology with a team of dedicated quick-attack metro police officers. These officers will be undercover in both unmarked and marked patrol vehicles and will be deployed to hotpots identified in areas like Braamfontein, Yeoville, Hillbrow, Doornfontein and other parts of the inner city,” Sun said.
“The unit will respond within three minutes with guidance from the IOC. The unit and the centre will work hand-in-glove, 24/7, to take down criminals lurking on our streets.”
The inner city has become serious crime hot spot in Johannesburg. Videos of muggings, stabbings and people robbed in broad daylight have become a permanent feature raising concerns of safety even to investors. Sun wants to utilise the technology and the undercover officers to fight the escalating levels of crime in the inner city.
“It is also vital that there is a strong relationship between the City, the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Justice will only prevail if criminals are detained and prosecuted. For too long, the streets of Joburg have been held hostage by muggers, hijackers and other criminals,” he said.
Sun said the city was also making progress on increasing the number of privately owned CCTV feeds to the IOC to cover more corners of the inner city.
“We will in the following months also unveil more innovative hi-tech projects which will assist to improve service delivery and ensure our residents are kept safe. This is planned as we simultaneously grow the IOC Reaction Unit to 160 officers,” Sun said.