Durban’s police force is getting cool new tech

The eThekwini municipality unveiled its new state-of-the-art police vehicles at the annual Govtech conference on Tuesday (29 October).

The vehicles are fitted with cameras which are capable of reading a registration number while in transit, providing officers with the owner’s identity and information.

The onboard system will also pull information from a national database including the driver’s licensing details, outstanding fines and traffic violations.

The vehicles are also fitted with dashboard cameras.

Speaking to BusinessTech metro police spokesperson, senior superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, said that this dashboard feed is continuous and downloads to a cloud storage site.

He added that the car has its own WiFi system which makes this connectivity possible.

The cars equipped with this technology shown at Govtech were Volkswagen Golf 7s, however, Sewpersad said that a number of makes and models will have this technology introduced so that they are not recognisable to criminals.

Sewpersad said that the first of these police vehicles will be in use by the start of the 2019 holiday season.

Body cameras and tazers 

The second-phase of eThekwini metro police’s technology push will see officers equipped with body cameras and tasers, Sewpersad said.

Speaking to BusinessTech in June, a Department of Police spokesperson said that the body cameras are on the agenda of the SAPS’ top management – although no implementation date has been set as the department awaits more information on funding.

“Body cameras will be used as – but not limited to – a safety measure to protect our men and woman in blue during operations,” the spokesperson said.

“They will also be used for data capturing as the world is moving in the direction of the 4th industrial revolution and to advance policing.”

Sewpersad indicated that this new tech could be rolled out in time for the festive season.

Read: A look at Durban’s new R380 million promenade upgrade

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Durban’s police force is getting cool new tech