The streets of Soweto are soon to be lined with watchful eyes, thanks to a network of high-tech licence-plate recognition (LPR) and surveillance cameras mounted on street poles, as local security systems supplier Vumacam plans to extend its reach.

The LPR system scans and references registration plates against the SAPS’ official circulation database. It is capable of scanning more than 2 100 licence plates per minute, even at car speeds of up to 160 km/h. Around 22 000 LPR alerts are produced daily.

The overview surveillance cameras flag unusual or suspicious activity using behaviour analytic software and the data is sent to an operator in real-time for verification and action.

The autonomous video-analysis software relies on AI algorithms to compare activity with the typical behavioural patterns of objects captured on CCTV.

Vumacam has already installed more than 2 000 cameras in other areas of Johannesburg, and they are accessed by private security firms.

According to the company, the system has had a significant effect on crime in areas where its cameras are deployed. Since installation in the Doornfontein area, Randburg-based security company AI Surveillance has noted a 40% reduction in incidents.

Image: Vumacam

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