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Pretoria is using technology to improve safety

Over the last few months, ttrumpet has been actively working with the Community Police Forums (CPF) in Pretoria to connect individuals in real-time with their communities, to syndicate information to keep themselves and their families safe.

Currently, ttrumpet, along with the CPFs already covers over 700km2 in the Pretoria region, covering an impressive 289 241 households – a number that grows bigger every day as new security channels join the platform.

The platform’s security channel is being used to provide updates to the community, report suspicious activity, highlight the real crime hotspots and generate better community awareness and vigilance to assist the police.

“Social media continues to grow exponentially – where the sharing of information amongst individuals has the real potential to improve vigilance and ultimately lead to safer communities,” says Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet.

“As such, we’ve engaged with a number of parties in the region to bring two critical parties together – the community and the CPFs – over a mobile platform – for better safety.”

Warrant Officer A.C. Holtzhausen, Sector Manager, sector 1 Pretoria North SAPS, is currently using the ttrumpet app to connect with his sector community.

He says: “ttrumpet is an enabler to combating crime. Not only is it bringing our community together to raise security awareness and report criminal activity, but if used correctly, it also provides the perfect platform to gather real statistics around the activity in the area – which enables us to deploy units more effectively, look out at certain crime hotspots and be more readily available when needed.”

As an example: if a community member sees a suspicious car that is in the process of stealing another car, they can report the incident on ttrumpet, with a picture and a registration number.

Then through the technology, the registration number can be extracted from ttrumpet and placed into a database on which ANPR cameras work on. Once the ANPR camera recognises the registration number it then informs the police/sector manager where that vehicle is situated. The police can then respond accordingly – streamlining the entire process and assisting criminals to be caught faster – just from a message that was sent.

To date, 55 channels have been created in the Pretoria region where the current incidents posted over these channels are at 1318. The current channels include a channel created specifically for schools in the Pretoria North region which keeps parents informed of suspicious activity and/or any incidents related to child-safety as well as a second-hand goods channel that protects store owners from buying stolen goods.

“We’ve seen a major uptake specifically in the school’s channel as parents can now ask for extra patrols during sports or other events and they are made aware, in real time, of any suspicious vehicles/persons in the vicinity of their child’s school,” says Murray.

“Active citizenry, coupled with a strong purpose-built platform that brings together relevant parties, has real potential to change the status quo. Pretoria is actively looking at this – and reaping the benefits – and we look forward to working with the other regions to drive safer communities.”

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