City of Joburg launches quick-reaction unit to combat crime in the CBD

The City of Johannesburg has launched a quick-reaction, anti-crime unit in the city's CBD, with its officers going undercover in hotspots in a bid to clean up the bustling metropolis.

As part of this unit, 80 Johannesburg Police Department (JMPD) officers will be on standby for crimes reported on a daily basis in the inner city.

Mayor Herman Mashaba and Public Safety Acting Head of Department David Tembe welcomed the new integrated Intelligent Operation Centre (IOC) Reaction Unit.

The unit will be monitoring the city’s CCTV cameras on a 24-hour basis. The cameras have license plate and face recognition technology capabilities.

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"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 hotspots identified in areas like Braamfontein, Yeoville, Hillbrow, Doornfontein and other parts of the inner city," said Mashaba.

He said the unit is expected to respond within three minutes with guidance from the IOC.  

Mashaba said it was important for a strong relationship to exist between the City, the police 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," he said.

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He said the JMPD was making good progress in increasing the number of CCTV feeds to the IOC and were working directly with several stakeholders in the private sector where privately owned CCTV cameras feeds will be monitored directly at the IOC.

"We will in the following months 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," Mashaba said.