MY BROADBAND: Vumacam – The plan to cover Soweto in fibre and security cameras

25th February 2020

Vumacam has outlined its plan to roll out its security camera network in Soweto, Johannesburg.

The Vumatel-owned security company uses its parent company’s fibre network to deploy public street cameras which combat crime in partnership with SAPS and private security.

Each Vumacam has a unique internet protocol (IP) address, and vetted security companies can access the feed in their particular area to help provide alerts for their reaction vehicles.

Both License Plate Recognition (LPR) and overview cameras are installed on Vumacam’s street poles.

LPR cameras capture each licence plate they see and reference it against the vehicle-of-interest database, checking if it has been involved in any criminal activity.

The overview cameras are alerted to suspicious events using behaviour analytics software named iSentry, automatically sending alerts to security companies when they detect unusual behaviour.

Soweto roll-out

Vumacam CEO Ricky Croock told MyBroadband that Vumatel has already begun rolling out fibre in Soweto, which means the camera division should soon begin putting up pole-mounted cameras in the area.

“We are very excited to get our cameras up into Soweto where fibre has already begun rolling out with over 2,000 homes already passed,” Croock said.

“We have applied for and are waiting for wayleave approval which will hopefully take no more than three to four weeks, then our first poles will be put in the ground.”

Croock added that Vumacam has partnered with a number of businesses to sponsor this project, as many companies are interested in improving security for their employees who live in Soweto.

“In order to fund this initiative Vumacam has engaged with various corporates to sponsor this project,” Croock said.

“This has been well received as they believe that many of their employees, who leave Soweto to work in their buildings, should also benefit from an additional layer of security that CCTV brings where they live.”

Big drop in crime

Vumacam deployments have a significant effect on crime in the areas where they are deployed, leading to an increased number of arrests and improved response times.

AI Surveillance CEO Rob Nichol told MyBroadband that the company has seen a more than 40% reduction in crime in the Doornfontein area since first installing the cameras.

AI Surveillance handles the monitoring of Vumacams in Doornfontein for its client, AFHCO (African Housing Company).

Nichol gave the example of a recent arrest made thanks to the Vumacam system, which occurred on 17 February 2020.

“Our overview cameras alerted our control room to the presence of a vehicle fitting the description of a Polo that was used in a robbery on 13 January,” Nichol said.

“AFHCO security guards were first dispatched to investigate and to confirm the registration number of the vehicle. Once the licence plate was relayed to our control room we conducted a scan through our LPR system and instantly received a positive hit,” he said.

“The JMPD undercover Unit was immediately alerted and their quick response leads to the suspect and vehicle being apprehended and taken in for further questioning.”

“Should the witness to the original robbery confirm the suspect’s identity then a case of theft will be opened.”

The Vumatel-owned camera security company wishes to bring this same level of security and rapid response to Soweto to improve the security of its residents.