On Wednesday, 14 May 2019, the City of Joburg launched a new team of 80 dedicated Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officers, focused on combatting street crimes reported on a daily basis in the inner city.
The Executive Mayor of Joburg, Councillor Herman Mashaba was joined by the Acting Head of the Department of Public Safety David Tembe in Martindale, where they welcomed the new Integrated Intelligent Operation Centre (IOC) Reaction Unit.
Whilst the City’s IOC monitors City-owned CCTV cameras 24 hours a day, with technology like license plate and facial recognition, a speedy and effective response to any crime spotted is seen to be equally crucial.
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.
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.
Mayor Mashaba said: “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.
“However, through the IOC Reaction Unit and the commitment of the JMPD, we have drawn the line clearly.”
Plans to increase the number of CCTV feeds to the IOC are well underway, while the City is “working directly with several stakeholders in the private sector where privately owned CCTV cameras feeds will be monitored directly at the IOC”.
The City promised to 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”.