Big Brother tactics in Joburg!

Johannesburg residents in certain areas are going to be under 24-hour surveillance in the future - at taxi ranks, in the streets and at entertainment venues.

In an ambitious new project to make the city safer, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department yesterday announced a plan to patrol and monitor Hillbrow, the CBD, Newtown, Diepsloot, Alexandra, Moroka and Orange Farm for the next 500 days.

Operation Token Days involves 10 different projects covering all aspects of policing, from organised street crime, surveillance, by-law enforcement, secure public transport and youth crime.

City of Johannesburg executive mayor Amos Masondo said yesterday: "We seek to reinforce the work done by the SAPS, change the negative perception of Johannesburg as infested with crime, create a platform for members of the community to make a contribution to fighting crime, and rid it of crime and grime."

All of the 2 000 JMPD officers will be utilised in the campaign.

"Even though we know we do not have enough staff, we will be using the resources we have to the best of our ability."

The 10 main campaigns are:

  • Knight Life, which, with the guidance of the Gauteng Tourism Authority, will concentrate on tourist spots, taverns, shebeens, places of entertainment, pedestrian fatalities at night and crimes related to alcohol, firearms and the youth.
  • Bumble Bee will focus on upgrading electronic equipment for policing, such as speed-trap cameras, closed-circuit TV, and number-plate recognition cameras, thereby reducing the need for additional manpower.
  • Nude Ants III will cover the enforcement of by-laws, such as illegal trading and dumping.
  • Jozi involves visible policing in conjunction with the SAPS, focusing on safety in public transport, freight movement, overload control and patrolling of ATMs.
  • Clean Audit will take stronger control over financial transactions within the JMPD, to ensure a clean audit.
  • The Fundisa programme will offer additional training for officers on the law.
  • Licensing services will be improved, with extended hours, increased capacity to detect fraudulent documents, and the implementation of a computer forensic audit capability for all transactions through the National Traffic Information System - allowing the JMPD, for the first time, to directly deregister cars.
  • In the human resources field, there will be a focus on uplifting the morale of staff, as well as increasing productivity and diligence.
  • Winged Heart III will ensure that public transport vehicles are roadworthy and will entail at least one visit a week to a taxi rank.
  • The Sethunya programme will assist the SAPS with reducing the incidence of illegal firearms.
Article by: Anna Cox - www.thestar.co.za