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Scrutiny on ShotStopper, Cape Town’s $US2.2M violence detection technology

Crime Cape Town
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The City of Cape Town launched the ShotStopper initiative in 2016 at a cost of US$2.2m (R32 million). ShotSpotter is a gunfire technology developed in the US and relies on sensors to isolate gunfire and notify the police. This technology-driven approach was deployed by the city to isolate gunfire sounds and notify the authorities. The main area of focus was targeted at Hanover Park and Manenberg.

This week on a Cape Talk radio interview, a debate emerged on the efficacy of the technology, where policing expert Eldred De Klerk argued against its use pointing out the rise in gun violence across the city. ShotStopper comes at a time when the use of technology by law enforcement authorities in crime prevention is on the rise globally.

The City of Cape Town has strongly disputed any attempts to label ShotStopper as ineffective or a waste of public funds. The gunfire detection system’s tenure ended in April 2019 prompting the city’s Metro Police Department to initiate a new tender. In an interview with ITWeb, an official at the City of Cape Town pointed out a desire to expand its footprint and deliver a faster more accurate response to gunshots.

According to his stats from 2016 to April 2019 ShotSpotter detected 721 gunshots resulting in the acquisition of 68 firearms. 40% of all firearms recovered in the city were attributed to the geographic area where the app is in use.

Original article at ITWeb

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