Cape Town to expand its gunshot detection system

Those who want to discharge a firearm in Cape Town should beware. The City is planning to expand its ShotSpotter technology. Courtesy#DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Those who want to discharge a firearm in Cape Town should beware as the city is planning to expand its ShotSpotter technology.

The gunshot recognition system was rolled out in Manenberg and Hanover Park three years ago.

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It's since been used in the prosecution of known criminals.

Brazen attacks are carried out in broad daylight, but they're in full view of Cape Town's ShotSpotter gunfire recognition system and CCTV cameras.

"When a gunshot rings out, the technology triangulates the location of that usually to around two metres of accuracy and we have an exact pinpoint location on a map.", said Cape Town city councillor, Jean-Pierre "JP" Smith.

Now, with a spike in gang violence across Cape Town, the City plans to roll out the technology to other hotspot areas

READ: The deadly cost of illegal guns in the Western Cape

The footage from this technology has been declared admissible in court and has helped in the successful conviction of Virgil Koopman, last year.

Koopman's been found guilty of discharging a firearm in a municipal area and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for five years.

"The big victory we've achieved about six months ago is that the data was the first time successfully used in court and the court accepted the data and the integrity of the data", Smith added.

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The three-year contract with the American ShotSpotter creators has since lapsed.

A tender process for additional devices is scheduled to get underway soon.