Private security group Fidelity says it has become one of the first providers in South Africa to use drones to track criminals in suburban areas.
The group said that the drones will first be trialled in the greater Fourways area for two months and then extended to other suburbs, estates and shopping centres.
Wahl Bartmann, chief executive officer of the Fidelity Services Group, said that the offering consists of a mobile command centre with a qualified drone pilot and a fully equipped state-of-the-art drone.
“The command centre is linked to a tactical response unit for both reactive and proactive purposes. Customers contact a call centre to activate the drone response and on sites where Fidelity ADT already provides guarding, the drone response will be worked into the incident escalation procedure,” he said.
“We believe drones and the deployment of a mobile drone team, will not only act as a highly effective visible deterrent to criminals, but also assist to immediately track down and locate criminal elements once an outer perimeter on an estate has been breached, or in any scenario where suspects are at large on a security estate.”
Bartmann said the deployment is ideally suited to security estates and will increase proactive crime prevention and the ability to plan crime prevention operations. It will also facilitate a more rapid response to live criminal incidents and scenes.
“Drones can also play an important role in other emergency situations that require monitoring, such as dangerous fires and land invasions,” he said.
Fidelity said its drones will work hand-in-hand with the Vumacam suburb surveillance system and in strict accordance with all privacy and aviation restrictions and laws.
“Drones need to be licenced and flight details have to be approved to fly in certain areas,” said Bartmann. He added that drone operations can also only be conducted with the permission of the landowner and/or other designated person able to provide such authority.
“We are very excited about the introduction of drone technology in the residential space as an added means to tighten the net for criminals and add an additional layer of security.
“Its success has already been proven in remote areas and we have no doubt we will have similar success in specified residential areas”.