Western Cape launches dashboard to help fight crime

The Western Cape government has launched an instrument to up the ante in the fight against crime.

The Safety Dashboard is an up-to-date online platform with real-time data used from hospitals and other government entities to pinpoint escalation of violent activities.

Premier Alan Winde launches Safety Dashboard:

This can be used by all safety stakeholders including the province, city and the SAPS in efforts to curb crime.

The province used a similar dashboard and programme to track COVID-19. This was in a bid to guide the response to the pandemic.

Now, this same principal will be used to fight crime.

Large parts of central Cape Town is buckling under the pressure of gang-related crime.

Hospital trauma centres can assist in providing more accurate information about activities as they happen.

Health MEC welcomes the new tech

“In Wales, where it was found that the majority of the violence that is happening in the community, doesn’t get reported to the police. Yet, the emergency centres in those areas, they were actually getting so many of those which is what we see even in us, because people, first thing they go to the hospitals before they go to the police, or they don’t even go to the police. So we are welcoming that we’re taking this responsibility because anyway it has been part of our health reforms”, says Western Cape MEC of Health Dr Nomafrench Mbombo,

The dashboard is updated every three days with information collected from, among others, the Hospital Emergency Trauma Information Systems currently used in 34 emergency units.

“The department has been strategic in analysing the data that we receive from the Department of Health. If we are able to narrow it down on where crime is happening, what time crime is happening, we’ll be able to be more effective in our approach.  It’ll be in a more professional but more scientific form of policing, so that we are not only reactionary, but actually proactive in terms of our approach,” says MEC of Police Oversight and Community Safety Reagen Allen.

Dashboard to aid SAPS

The dashboard is an advanced system of collating data that will inform responses from provincial government and aid the police.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says, “We will be adding more and more data as we continue to build out this system and this system is then used by all departments, SAPS. Anybody involved in the safety of our region is able to draw down on this data.”

“What we will also design is something that the public can see, just like we did with COVID-19. There was a public dashboard of course. Below that we also had interventions from the different departments that’s going to be running in the same way,” Winde adds.

One of the province’s greatest goals in fighting crime is to half the murder rate and by using tools such as the Safety Dashboard, it hopes to effect real change on the ground.

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