A closed circuit TV (CCTV) equivalent of the police's 10111 call centre is an "urgent imperative" necessary to reduce the negative fallout from the global economic crisis.

That's according to Mohammad Patel, MD of Illuder.com: "Technology in general and CCTV technology in particular will prove to be South Africa's saving grace in the fight against crime because it can be rolled out more rapidly than police can be trained."
The speed at which the crisis is making its way around the world means that a rapid rollout of technology is the only way to effectively combat the local fallout which will include job losses and marked increases in violent contact crimes.
Because WiMAX and 3G is available in virtually every South African CBD CCTV cameras can be installed in literally a few hours and wirelessly connected to a central monitoring centre.
"Right now there are very effective public private partnership CCTV control rooms operating in several South African cities. However, they could be more effective if they could share costs and create jobs, especially for disabled people, by operating from one central location within an economically-depressed region of the country. The UAE has Dubai Media City. Imagine we could build a Qunu Video City," adds Patel.
Optic fibre, satellite, WiMAX and other technologies are now all available to cheaply transmit video images while operators could be trained in a fraction of the time it takes to train a police constable. "When a country's gross domestic product (GDP) shrinks 13.5% literally overnight, as it did in Japan, the result is tens of thousands of people out of work.
While the Finance Minister mentioned the word "crisis" 16 times in his recent Budget Speech the word "police" was only mentioned twice leading some to wonder whether enough planning has gone into policing the negative effects of the current crisis.
"The encouraging aspect of Manuel's speech was his specific reference to the 'enhanced used of available technology' as a way of fighting crime. Unfortunately, reference wasn't made to one of the most successful ways of discouraging criminal activity and that is through the use of CCTV technology."
A spokesperson for the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) referred last year to "a drastic reduction in all crime levels" following the introduction of about 200 CCTV cameras in the Joburg CBD. Similar successes have been reported in Cape Town and Pretoria. In the city of London, a person is captured on CCTV once every 10 seconds on average. Recent upsurges in knife crime aside, the result is one of the world's safest cities.
That centralising crime fighting tools is very effective cannot be disputed. South Africa already has a centralised flying squad control room, the Office of Interception Centres (OIC) is tasked with monitoring criminal and terrorist-related communications from a central location while a centralised DNA database is on the cards to complement the existing fingerprint system. "The only missing element within South Africa's centralised crime-fighting arsenal is that which relates to the sense of sight," Patel adds.