Ricochet News

Bay fight against gang violence goes hi-tech with Shot Spotter

Sep 18, 2017
Bay fight against gang violence goes hi-tech with Shot Spotter

Just days after the first official Metro Police foot patrols put boots on the ground in gang-ridden Helenvale, a memorandum of understanding has been signed with a supplier to deploy Shot Spotter technology in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

According to Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, this measure could see the illegal use of firearms and associated violence drastically reduced in some of the City’s most dangerous areas.

"The technology will be installed at secret locations over the next two months and will be jointly monitored by Metro Police and SAPS.

"Piloted in the City of Cape Town, the gun shot detection technology immediately notifies nearby law enforcement each time a firearm is discharged, dispatching police to the exact location of the gunshot," he said.

"Not only does this drastically reduce response time, but it allows for analysis of shooting patterns to inform policing operations."

Trollip said that in its first three months, the establishment of Shot Spotter in Manenberg, Cape Town, saw the total number of incidents drop from 211 to 31.

He said that Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Safety & Security MMC in the Bay, Cllr John Sturrock Best, is hoping for similar successes in the Metro, particularly in our City's Northern Areas, where gang-related gun violence is most devastating.

"If successful, this coalition government will push for future expansion of the operation.

"However, it is still the responsibility and primary mandate of the South African Police Service to fight crime, investigate incidents and open criminal cases against suspects," Trollip said.

"The Municipality is extending itself to make this is a safe city, and we expect SAPS to meet us half way, at the least.

"Again, I request the Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to witness first-hand the situation on the ground in parts of City and to drastically increase local SAPS resources."

The Mayor said that the coalition government understands the importance of dealing with crime, evidenced by the opening of two new satellite police stations, frequent hot spot visible policing, the launch of a ghost squad and now the introduction of shot spotter.

"I am certain that Bay residents will soon again feel safe enough to leave their homes at night."