UIP Closed Circuit TV Surveillance and Monitoring
The UIP Company’s CCTV Project is a technical and conceptual tool with wider application to tackle several goals, firstly surveillance and monitoring as a means to securing a cleaner, safer environment for people to pursue their daily lives, the continuous repair, maintenance and upgrading of public infrastructure, buildings and places and secondly, as a multipurpose tool for urban realm management.
While it should be noted that crime surveillance should not necessarily imply crime prevention, the extraordinary potential to use CCTV for monitoring the built environment, particularly the public places in the inner city was what prompted the UIP management to embark on this project. From the UIP’s perspective, our CCTV network is not only about the technical aspects of monitoring and surveillance, but also about planning the environment for a cleaner, safer, better city. In this way our CCTV network becomes less of a technical implementation and more of an extension of urban renewal and development planning.From an urban management perspective, the monitoring of the public space infrastructure and built environment can drastically reduce the need for repeated site inspections of items such as electrical maintenance and repairs, illegal connections, adherence to city bylaws regarding street trading practices, manholes, pavements, gutters, roadside weed and other vegetation growth, street lights and paving maintenance, the maintenance of parks and gardens, traffic lights that malfunction and buildings that do not meet with the required standards of building maintenance among others.
In order to have an integrated urban management system, the CCTV system could further be used proactively to help:
• Manage the environment – having a clean, well maintained orderly environment – that would give crime or people with a criminal mindset less inclination and incentive to commit crimes.
• Monitor illegal activities in public spaces such as electrical connections, drug running, prostitution, illegal trading, anti-social activities such as drinking and drug abuse in public and illegal graffiti among others.
• Maintain an effective public order and a clean environment in conjunction with the law Metro Police , SAPS and Durban Solid Waste
Yet for all the advances in technology, our CCTV network still requires that we have dedicated, skilled people of integrity to interpret what they see on screen and are able to act within the bounds of the law, contributing to the reduction and prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals. It involves multiple stakeholders from civil society, the community, the South African Police Services, Metro Police and others from the local authority.
Since its inception, the UIP’s CCTV system has been under continuous development, upgrade and expansion. Given that the system can be such an important tool for the management of the city into the 21st Century, issues around control, authority, function and technical requirements are under our constant scrutiny and supervision allowing the UIP adapt swiftly to new developments and remain compliant with changes in rules and regulations as and when they should occur.