Port Elizabeth- 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 to deploy shot spotter technology in the Bay.
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 deployed 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. Not only does this drastically reduce response time, but it allows for analysis of shooting patterns to inform policing operations.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.
Safety & Security MMC, Cllr John Best, is hoping for similar successes in the Bay, particularly in our Metro’s Northern Areas, where gun violence is most prolific and devastating. 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. The Municipality is extending itself to make this is a safe city, and we expect SAPS to meet us half way, at the least.
Having already written to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, requesting increased policing operations and the long-outstanding construction of a third police station near Cleary Park, our city must surely be a priority for the national police service. Again, I request a visit by the Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to witness first-hand the situation on the ground so that adequate planning and intervention can be actioned. The Minister’s 15 September 2017 oversight visit to the Glebeland Hostels in eThekwini was most necessary given the levels of violence seen recently. Equally a visit to Nelson Mandela Bay by the Minister is as necessary given the levels of crime in parts of the Metro.
This 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. Free from crime and violence. One City. One Future.
Media Statement By
Cllr Athol Trollip
Executive Mayor: Nelson Mandela Bay