Security and public safety officers have been kept very busy over the past few weeks. They responded to several incidents in and around Hermanus which led to at least eight arrests.
The network of CCTV cameras that cover large parts of Hermanus played a major role in the arrests, according to Fidelity ADT’s Hermanus Branch Manager Marius Boshoff. “These CCTV cameras are monitored by Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) operators who in turn alert patrollers and armed response officers about any criminal or suspicious behavior.”
HPP is a ratepayer-funded initiative in partnership with Fidelity ADT.
In one such incident, two suspects were detained by HPP patrollers after the camera team observed them pushing a trolley in the Industrial Area. It was later found to contain several items which the suspects reportedly admitted to having stolen from a building site.
Boshoff says the HPP camera team also helped coordinate a response when they saw three suspects walking down Steenbras Street. The team observed one of the men stealing lights from buildings in the area while his two accomplices stood close by. The HPP’s special response unit was deployed along with two local neighbourhood watches and all three men were detained. “The suspects were later arrested on charges ranging from theft, possession of a dangerous weapon, and possession of housebreaking implements.”
Meanwhile, in other incidents, the camera operators also guided patrollers to where two men were seen hiding bags in the bushes. The bags were later found to be filled with abalone, and the two were arrested. Operators also spotted a well-known suspect in the CBD who was stopped and searched and found to be in possession of drugs and dangerous weapons.
Boshoff says another suspect was detained in Onrus in connection with the theft of a cellphone.
“Information about the theft was called in by a member of the public. The OVSRA Manager investigated and asked a neighbour for footage from their camera, which showed the alleged suspect in the area at the time of the theft. This photo was shown to the Fidelity ADT/OVSRA enviro-patroller who searched the area but could not find the alleged perpetrator. A day later, the same patroller spotted this person and along with the dedicated Onrus Vermont SRA / Fidelity ADT armed response vehicle, managed to detain him. The suspect was handed over into police custody and it was discovered that he was out on bail at the time. The complainant however declined to press charges in connection with the theft of the cellphone.