Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

m-Services

The Costs of Delivering a Body of Evidence

Article Image
The police use of video evidence is not new. But in many parts of the world, the police use of body-worn video cameras means that the evidence has become a lot more personal. Arguably, it's also gotten a lot more expensive for the law enforcers.

Because one of the differences between CCTV imagery, and that captured by the police directly, is not just about the highly personal nature of the footage concerned; it is also about the cost and who pays.

Just last year, then US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Department of Justice had allocated an additional US$20 million of funding to issue more police officers in the US with body-worn cameras.

And according to a report last month by personal data watchdog group Big Brother Watch, UK police forces have spent more than $30 million (£22.7 million) on providing nearly 50,000 police officers with body-worn camera technology. In London alone, some 22,000 officers are now believed to be wearing cameras.

The issue is that body-worn cameras form part of the police officer's equipment budget, whereas the costs of CCTV cameras are much more widely shared. Local authorities, retailers, businesses, factories and even individuals deploy CCTV equipment to monitor traffic flow or their own premises both inside and out.

This month, three men were arrested in Johannesburg after private CCTV footage of their attack on a woman in the Auckland Park emerged on social media. The men could be seen driving off in a distinctively painted car. The widely-shared video led to the men being arrested later that same day at a garage where they were hoping to get their car re-sprayed.

But even CCTV monitoring comes at a cost. In Johannesburg, the crime prevention cameras, including those in Soweto installed by Mayor Mashaba, are allegedly going "virtually unmonitored" following the end of the contract with Omega Risk Solutions and the relocation of the control centre.

System Manager Luyanda Longwe confirmed this month that no contract was in place to maintain the network of cameras but said the City was in a "bid specification process to go out to tender," and that in the system was being managed and monitored by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department.

It seems that if they can be afforded, body-worn cameras can be a very valuable policing tool, and not just in the western world. This month in New Delhi, police used police body camera footage to show that a couple had assaulted a police officer rather than being the victims of police brutality, as they had claimed.

Indeed, a study by the University of Cambridge highlighted that the use of body-worn cameras can dramatically reduce the number of complaints against police officers. The international study involved a total of almost 1.5 million working police hours. It found the number of complaints against officers fell by 93% to just 113 compared to 1,539 in a comparable period a year earlier.

One possible solution to the cost is an app developed by Brazil's Igarapé Institute, an independent think tank dedicated to the integration of security, justice and development agendas.

Igarapé developed the CopCast app in conjunction with Google's Jigsaw project. Copcast can turn a standard Android smartphone into a body-worn camera backed by a desktop monitoring system. One of the earliest triallists was the Western Cape Government, where Head of Community Safety, Gideon Morris, said he experienced price shock when he first approached firms to equip his officers with body cameras.

"They'll give you a unit price," he said, "and you'll do the calculation and you'll say, 'Guys, not in this era'."

Copcast says its project -- currently trialling in Brazil, the Western Cape and parts of Johannesburg -- is all part of its Smart Policing project, which aims to increase transparency and oversight of the police, reduce corruption and the use of excessive force, offer more protection to officers facing false allegations, and improve the interaction between police and communities.

If it can do all that, and reduce the cost of capturing and storing vital video evidence, then CopCast will be widely welcomed by the law enforcement communities across Africa.

Take your understanding of critical communications technology to the next level at Mission Critical Africa 2017 (7 – 9 November, Cape Town).

Co-located with AfricaCom (7 – 9 November, Cape Town), the new Mission Critical Africa is Africa's first event dedicated to telecoms and technology for mission critical professionals. For more information and to check out the impressive speaker line-up, click here.

Attend Mission Critical Africa for free by signing up for your Visitor's Pass here.

AfricaCom is Africa's biggest technology and telecommunications event and it's celebrating its 20th anniversary -- an occasion not to be missed! Find out more about AfricaCom here.

Be part of the African tech and telco conversation here:
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

Innovation hub

Story

AI's potential in African agriculture, energy and climate action – GSMA

A new GSMA report examines the huge potential for artificial intelligence to support Africa's socio-economic growth in areas including agriculture, energy and climate action.

Story

KaiOS targets merchant market for growth, digital inclusion

KaiOS Technologies, the creator of a mobile operating system for smart feature phones, is piloting affordable merchant payment terminals - which look like feature phones - in Africa to help underserved merchants and transport providers accept digital payments solutions.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Leadership Lessons: The importance of mentorship for career growth

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of mentorship for career growth for African women in data analytics.

Story

Omdia View: May 2024

By Omdia Analysts

May 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included African 5G subscriptions surpassing 5 million, growth from SpaceX's satellite Internet service Starlink, and a major fiber partnership in the Middle East and North Africa.

More Guest Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 12-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Follow us on X

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002