New gunshot detection system takes aim at Cape gangsterism

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Several hand guns are seen at the headquarters of the National Direction for Guns and Ammunition Control (DIGECAM)) where 96 seized weapons were destroyed in Guatemala City, Guatemala, 30 January 2014.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town is relying on world-class technology in the fight against gangsterism.

It&39;s piloting a system, that can detect gunshots within half a metre from where they were fired.

The City says this technology could help in curbing unnecessary deaths.

Communities in some Cape Town suburbs live in fear and often in the crossfire as rival gangs take aim at each other.

Now, the City of Cape Town is testing state-of-the-art technology to try quell the recent surge in violence.

The ShotSpotter is being piloted in the gang hotspot of Hanover Park.

We&39;re unable to show you what it looks like, or how it operates because it&39;s installed in secret locations.

"Leave the bad guys guessing. But it allows us to triangulate the location of the gunshot to within half a metre. So we&39;re having extraordinary success with that," said Mayoral Committee member JP Smith.

"We&39;ve got staff on standby in the area and the gangsters are trying to fool us by shooting off firecrackers all the time. We can tell the difference between a firecracker and a gunshot. The system is intelligent enough to do that."

Smith says quicker response times, will lead to more arrests.

"That has allowed us to recover two firearms in the area in this way and it also means that we&39;ve seen the gunshots come down now because the guys have the unnerving experience of having the police arrive very, very quickly after their gunshot, to the exact location," he continued.

"So, in the last week that we&39;ve been doing the response, we&39;ve seen it come down. We&39;ve been running this system for three weeks. Sadly, I must say, that is 241 gunshots in three weeks in Hanover Park."

The system will soon be rolled out to the SAPS war room.

If it&39;s successful, authorities will look into setting it up in gang hotspots across the City.

- eNCA