CCTV Community Project

Overview

MCNW has teamed up with Crime Watch SA to drive this CCTV Community project.

 

How do I sign up for this CCTV initiative?

  1. Sign up with MCNW here.

  2. Remember to specify in the form that you would like to be part of the CCTV initiative (question 19).

  3. MCNW will then arrange a fingerprint session for you and will invite you to the next training

  4. MCNW will hand over your contact details to CW SA

  5. CW SA will arrange a visit to your premises to inspect your current alarm setup

  6. CW SA will provide you with a detailed quote and required documentation

 

So who is involved in the CCTV Community Project in Milnerton Central?

This will be Crime Watch SA (blue and white cars)! Which means that you would sign-up with Crime Watch SA to do your alarm monitoring services (and response, if you wish to).

I want a camera in my road, but I’m fiercely loyal to Milnerton Crime Watch Trust (MCWT)?

In the event of an emergency, Milnerton Crimewatch Trust would still be dispatched (if you are a signed-up member of MCWT).  Crime Watch SA are offering to monitor your alarm. 

 

If Milnerton Crime Watch Trust (MCWT) are going to respond – why do Crime Watch SA (CWSA) need all this information from me?

In the event of an alarm activation, the control room must be able to give the responder the most accurate information in order to keep him and your property safe.   

What is the difference between Milnerton Crime Watch Trust and Crime Watch SA?

We often get asked what the difference is between these two armed response companies. 

 

Detailed Q's and A's

How do I get a free CCTV camera installed in my street?

First of all you will need to sign up as a member of the MCNW here and sign up with Crime Watch Alarm Monitoring services here.​ As soon as 8 new alarm monitoring sign-ups in 1 street have gone through, MCNW and CW will discuss the most suitable location for a camera in your street.

What is the Community CCTV project?

Crime Watch are fully committed to developing community safety, working with residents and the Neighbourhood Watches in a suburb, and to developing improved security by the installation of CCTV cameras. CW currently (June 2021) monitor 275 CCTV cameras in public areas. Where we have CCTV cameras, the crime rate is considerably lower than in areas that we do not have cameras.

How do CCTV cameras benefit?

The cameras are linked to the Crime Watch Control Room and that provides us (you, your neighbours, the NW) with the ability to monitor any suspicious activity remotely, - ‘Intelligent Policing’ and deploy Armed Response officers to investigate.

Can I sign up for Monitoring and Armed Response, if I want to?

Yes, Crime Watch would be happy to provide you with both Monitoring and Armed Response services @ R448.50 inc VAT

What streets will get priority?

MCNW and Crime Watch will initially install cameras in the areas that have the higher crime issues, where new clients have signed up.

Will I be able to see the CCTV camera – Monitoring Live View?

Yes, you will need to download a free app which allows you to Live View the camera. You will need to be a member of the MCNW and have a police clearance certificate, less than 2 years old, which the NW will process for you. CW will then programme the camera on the app.

 Where will the camera be located on public or private property?

All CCTV cameras of this kind must be installed on private property. (It can take 18 months to 2 years to get planning permission to install cameras on COCT property)

Where in the street, will the camera be located?

CW will, in conjunction with the NW , determine the most ideal location for the camera. The location will always be based on providing the best security cover for the street and having an appropriate property with a willing owner.

If my property provides the ideal location, what is required of me?

The resident/homeowner who has been identified as having the most ideal property and has agreed to hosting the camera, will need to provide the following:

  • Access to the power supply, Cameras use very little power (approx. R25 – R30 monthly). We will identify a suitable location with the homeowners’ approval.

  • Access to the internet, which must be a minimum of 20mbps uncapped. This will enable the signal to get from the property to the Crime Watch Control Room and enable you and authorised others to view the camera

Will my security be compromised with Crime Watch and my neighbours being able to access the camera through my internet?

No, Crime Watch will install a firewall at your property that protects you and Crime Watch from any potential threats. The only thing that anybody will be able to access is the camera live view, and normal security precautions are taken.

 

Will Crime Watch have to change my Wi-Fi router?

There are some routers that do not work well with the firewall we need to install, and may need to be changed, so that the firewall includes the router. We use Microtik, routers and firewalls

Where is the camera most likely to be put on my property?

The camera will either be attached to the wall of your property, if that provides the best security view of the street, or more likely on a galvanised pole either attached to your boundary wall or planted in concrete next to it.

How does the camera get power and transfer signals to my internet router?

The Cat 6 cable supplies both power and the CCTV signals from the camera through to your router, will be installed professionally within conduit or bosal piping to SAIDSA (South African Intruder Detection Services Agency) standards, and installed in locations agreed to by the home owner.

How many people can see the camera at the same time?

Normally, up to a max of 20 people can stream at the same provided there are no internet issues and that all phones have data on them.

Can I access and see other cameras in other streets as well as my own?

Yes, if there is a good security reason for this to happen and there is space on that network to add you. However, priority will be given to registered and nominated NW (Neighbourhood Watch) members who are registered and have SAPS clearance certificates less than 2 yrs old.

Will the NW have access to the camera?

Yes, provided that the NW is fully registered with DoCS (Department of community Safety) and the NW member elected to monitor has a police clearance certificate of no more than 2 years old.

Does CCTV act as a deterrent?

In this day and age, we require as many layers as possible to make ourselves and our properties secure and cannot simply rely on one thing. CCTV acts as an excellent deterrent especially if would be criminals are aware that it is being monitored. Most criminals cover their faces to avoid the cameras but that does not stop them being linked to the crime itself. In a monitored situation, we are alerted to the movement of people across the camera view by the analytics and, if suspicious, our Control Room will deploy Armed Reaction Officers accordingly to intercept

 

Does Crime Watch record their CCTV cameras?

Yes, they do and they hold the data for approximately 21 days.

 

Can I access the CCTV video recordings?

No. We comply with a very strict code of conduct and will only release CCTV recordings to SAPS. If you need CCTV evidence that our cameras may have recorded, you need to raise a criminal case with SAPS. Once a case number has been issued – SAPS will approach Crime Watch with the case number and we will only provide it to them on that basis. This is common practice and we do so regularly.

 

Will Crime Watch testify in court if required to do so, in relation to CCTV evidence that they have supplied to SAPS to support the case I opened?

Yes, Crime Watch will have to confirm the source of the CCTV to the court and how it was stored/ provided to SAPS. If a Response Officer was subsequently dispatched and involved, the Officer will also give evidence in court in relation to your case.

Can I get CCTV video footage in relation to a non-security issue?

No, the sole purpose of the CCTV cameras is to provide added security to the suburb. Crime Watch will only release footage to SAPS in the manner described, once a crime number has been provided.

Is a CCTV camera pointing down my road legal?

Currently, (June 2021) there is no specific defining code of practice for CCTV camera surveillance in South Africa. The CoCT (City of Cape Town) we understand are in the process of developing one in consideration of the POPI ACT, but that has not as yet been published. Crime Watch have 275 cameras currently in public areas, which were installed with the agreement of the Neighbourhood Watch and residents that they affect.

Are CCTV cameras in public areas compliant with the POPI ACT?

There is nothing currently in the POPI ACT or its regulations to indicate the minimum requirement of proof that a CCTV surveillance system has met the consensual requirement for processing personal information.

I do not want parts of my property to be visible by the CCTV camera. Can the view be restricted?

As a policy, once a camera has been installed, we send the image of the property it may be partly covering to the resident and request approval that the part of the property covered by the camera is acceptable to the resident.

We electronically mask out all windows, swimming pools and any other area the resident is unhappy with. The Control Room cannot remove the masking. Once you are happy with the area covered by masking, the Control Room will be able to monitor the camera.

What happens if the number of Crime Watch clients in the street falls below 8?

8 is the minimum number of NEW clients required in the street to maintain each camera and CCTV monitoring service. Crime Watch may choose to relocate the camera onto their CCTV network within the suburb should this happen. The new location will probably be based on where crime is occurring most, and will be agreed with the NW (Neighbourhood Watch)

Who owns the cameras?

Crime Watch will retain ownership of the cameras and equipment. for the duration of the warranty periods – 3 years for the camera. Ownership may involve the NW thereafter onwards, provided they are fully registered with DoCS. (Department of Community Safety).

Who maintains the cameras once they are up?

Crime Watch will maintain the camera for as long as there are 8 clients in the street signed up with Crime Watch for Monitoring and Armed Response.

What are the warranty periods of the camera and installation?

The camera has a warranty period of 3 years (subject to conditions) and the installation and all other components carry a warranty for 1 year.

Infra-Red cameras attract spiders’ webs and they affect the analytics of the camera – who is going to clean the lens?

This is very true, depending especially on the prevailing wind Direction. The home owner will need to ensure these are kept clear and Crime Watch will provide advice on installation.

If I am the homeowner where the camera is located and I cancel my service with CW, will I be removed from the group being able to view the camera?

No, as you are the homeowner, you will always be able to access our camera on your property, but your new service provider will not be able to.

If I sell my property what happens?

From experience, having a monitored camera on your property is an advantage to selling and the benefits should be made clear by the home owner to the incoming buyer. The buyer will have to agree to the same terms, and if for some reason, they do not want the camera the residents and Crime Watch clients will have to find an alternative location.

If the new owner does not want to sign up with Crime Watch, what happens?

The owner will be able to see the CCTV live images on their cell phone, but their security provider will not be able to, but will require a police clearance certificate

How do I know that the cameras are not been seen by a criminal?

The MCNW have taken the precaution and stance that anyone who wants to view the live images from the camera on their phone, must have a police clearance certificate, (max 2 years old) and belong to the NW which is monitored by the NW.

Can the cameras be accessed by someone unauthorised to do so?

One can never say NO, and we all have to be very careful of who can access passwords in this day and age. In order to access a camera, a person would have to have physical access to your internet, have been provided with the IP address of the camera and the user passwords, as well as the camera network software to be able to access it.

If my phone is stolen – what happens?

Your phone and your app are password protected and your phone can be blocked from the system.

If the camera is stolen from my property – what happens?

The overall security of the camera must be considered when the location is determined. It will be installed in such a manner that it is not easily removed. Crime Watch has not had a camera stolen as yet, but they are generally added to the home-owners’ insurance policy for a very nominal rate, given that the monitored camera may reduce the insurance premium in the first instance.

If I or the community want to add more cameras than the Community CCTV Street plan allows, can we?

In principal yes, there will be some costs involved which Crime Watch will discuss with you.

I can’t see the live camera images from my phone – why?

The most likely answer will be that there is either a power failure, load shedding or the internet is down at the location the camera is installed. Your phone must also have data.

How much data will a camera use on my phone?

It is not possible to answer the question as every individual will be different. It depends how much you look at it away from your home internet, and where you are only using your own phone data.

Will the CoCT install cameras in the streets?

The CoCT are totally supportive of CCTV installations, and have a major roll out program affecting main routes, MyCiti Bus routes, CoCT buildings, car parks etc, but are unlikely to have the funds to put CCTV cameras in neighbourhood streets for the foreseeable future.

What are CCTV / video analytics exactly?

Video Analytics are generated from algorithms which convert real time video images into intelligent data. In simple terms, the data can be used to identify humans, cars, objects or people.

 

Alert Lines can be then set within the camera, these are generally known as:

  • Line crossing – somebody or something crossing an analytic line in the camera (like your boundary wall/fence)

  • Intrusion zones – somebody or something entering an analytic area set up in the camera. - which may be set up just outside your property or within the street.

These analytic rules can be set up by day, time, size, etc to send alerts to the relevant parties, in the same way as your alarm alerts you/ your monitoring company, if someone enters your property.

 

In the case of the CCTV analytic alert, it sends a video clip of what triggered the alert, which the controller (in the case of Crime Watch monitoring the system) can determine if it is a threat and therefore dispatch Armed Response/ contact you, or something innocent.

This means that the controller or person monitoring the cameras does not need to look at them – the camera does the work for them. This is considered, in general terms, as being 95-97% more effective and accurate compared to a person monitoring the cameras. It is considerably more cost effective. This form of monitoring is often known as Black Screen Monitoring.

Will cameras covering the street be monitored in this way all day and night?

No, during the day there is generally far too much innocent movement of people, cars etc that would set off the analytics all the time. The cameras will record all movement however, should something happen that needs to be reviewed.

Line crossing – if it is following your fence line for example can normally be set for 24hrs a day.

Generally, analytics are set to provide us with the added layer of protection at night, when more suspicious activity often takes place and the streets are much quieter.

Is the Crime Watch CCTV Control Room manned 24hrs a day?

Yes, controllers man the CCTV network 24hrs a day. When alerts are sent through, they review the alert and determine what action is required.

Can the Crime Watch Control Room see the cameras even if no alerts are sent through?

Yes, controllers will review every camera on the network through CCTV patrolling. NB This assumes that the camera is working, has power and access to internet, with signals being received by Crime Watch.

Do Crime Watch dispatch the Armed Response officers if something suspicious is seen on the camera by the Controllers?

Yes, we have been doing this for many years with the 275 cameras that we already monitor, and is included as part of the monitoring fee that you pay.

Do Crime Watch test the analytic alerts?

There should be no reason for alerts to fail, once they have been established, but Crime Watch do test every analytic camera weekly to ensure that it is working and we are receiving the alerts. It also ensures that our Armed Response team know where are the cameras are located.

What brand of camera does Crime Watch use?

This is the worlds’ leading video surveillance brand. Products have proved to be very reliable and have a three-year warranty.

NB – Cameras are in constant development and we will amend the range we use as and when the next development comes out.

What is Hikvision Acusense and Colorvu technology?

The cameras installed are all Hikvision Acusense cameras or where applicable or even the latest Hikvision Acusense Colorvu Gen 2 camera that combines both technologies into one camera, where applicable.

Each location may require a different type of camera or lens. Crime Watch will determine the most appropriate one required. Have a look at these videos for more information.

How long is my Contract with Crime Watch?

Unlike other companies that tie you into long term agreements, we have a very different approach. We would rather our clients want to be with us because they are satisfied with our services, than forced to being with us due to contractual conditions. We therefore only require 1 (one) calendar months’ notice to terminate your contract with us, unless you are tied into a financial agreement with us. It may affect the monitoring agreement of the CCTV camera if you do so.

How many vehicles do you have?

The area we cover is all within 6 kilometres of our base and we have 6 cars permanently patrolling around our suburbs, so we are never far from a potential activation. (June 2021).

To switch over to Crime Watch – does my alarm system have to be changed?

No, it does not need to be changed, we can link over any current alarm system as is. Your passwords and user words can remain the same (if you wish).

When will Crime Watch increase their prices?

Crime Watch’s annual price review takes place on the 1st March each year. For information, the whole security industry is subject to an imposed (gazetted white paper) increase of 9.52% in wages, due on the 1st March 2022.

If the right number of people sign up in my street, when would Crime Watch install the camera?

Based on their current installation schedule, Crime Watch are normally able to install the camera between 6-8 weeks, during the winter rainy months, after the required number of residents have joined. In summer this can reduce to between 4-6 weeks. This assumes there are no supplier stock problems.

WILL PROVIDE 1 X MONITORED CCTV CAMERA

for each

 

8 x NEW ALARM MONITORING SIGN UPS IN A STREET / ROAD

@ R192.50/month inc VAT

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Crime Watch South Africa

Crime Watch SA is a proactive armed response company operating in Sunset Beach, Milnerton Ridge, Milnerton Central, Royal Ascot, Woodbridge Island, Montague Gardens, Tijgerhof, Summer Greens, Phoenix, Rugby, Brooklyn and parts of Paarden Eiland.  They provide a variety of security services.  Their white and blue cars can be seen out on patrol in Milnerton Central.

Milnerton Crime Watch Trust

Community "owned" and run Safety & Security initiative operating in Milnerton Central since 1998. They provide a proactive response service through 24/7 patrols. They do not offer monitoring services, but have partnered with several monitoring providers. Their black and yellow cars are a Milnerton institution. 

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What board can be put up on my property, when I join the NW and Crime Watch?

The board, is a joint partnership one, depicting that your property is being monitored by both the NW and Crime Watch.

The cost is R 150.00 of which R 30.00 goes towards buying further CCTV cameras for the community

 

 

If I have a CCTV camera in my street or on my property – are there CCTV signboards available?

Yes, they are also branded Crime Watch and the NW, to reflect that they are being monitored by both parties. They cost R150.00 of which R 30.00 goes towards purchasing additional CCTV cameras

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