Embracing next-generation surveillance for safer cities

Issue 8 2023 Surveillance, Integrated Solutions, AI & Data Analytics

With the South African government highlighting the importance of building smart cities by integrating advanced technologies to make them more resilient and liveable, the role of next-generation network video and surveillance technologies cannot be ignored.

Creating a safer smart city environment relies on integrating effective surveillance solutions that can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Additionally, high-definition capabilities at range are essential to monitor the expansive environments of cities. Of course, using high-definition, AI-enabled cameras goes beyond traditional surveillance approaches. Instead, it is about leveraging features like facial recognition, automatic number plate recognition, and suspect behaviour detection. These advanced capabilities will be critical in preventing and quickly responding to criminal activities.

Advancing city management

Advanced network surveillance solutions are changing the way cities handle vehicle flow. These cameras play a crucial role in easing traffic congestion, monitoring violations, and improving road safety by providing city managers with access to real-time data collection and analysis. Intelligent traffic systems can use these surveillance tools to help cities improve response times to accidents, while optimising real-time traffic flow. With commuters benefitting from a more efficient transit system, productivity will increase, and citizens will be happier moving around in the city.

In emergencies, where every second is crucial, Duxbury’s surveillance solutions become a critical enabling tool. Emergency services can efficiently allocate scarce resources and better identify and plan for potential onsite challenges by empowering city departments to assess and respond to incidents rapidly. This optimises the use of teams, while also saving lives in the process.

Moreover, next-generation surveillance tools can also aid in environmental monitoring, detecting and alerting authorities about pollution or waste management issues. At a time when there is so much focus on sustainability and reducing a city’s carbon footprint, this will contribute to cleaner, healthier urban environments. Surveillance data can be used to improve a variety of public services. For instance, analysing crowd patterns can assist in planning public transport schedules, while monitoring public spaces can aid in urban planning and maintenance.

Benefitting society at large

Of course, there are significant societal benefits to using advanced surveillance technologies in cities nationwide. At a basic level, enhanced safety measures will lead to reduced crime and will improve the quality of life of inner-city residents, but beyond that, cities will become attractive for businesses and tourism, significantly boosting local economies. Municipalities can also use the data collected by surveillance systems for broader social analysis, for example, improving urban planning and monitoring traffic flow to identify ways to reduce congestion.

Throughout this, surveillance technologies must adhere to compliance and regulatory requirements. As such, care must be taken to address any privacy and ethical concerns. The deployment of these technologies must, therefore, be governed by stringent protocols, ensuring that surveillance is conducted responsibly, with respect for individual privacy and adherence to legal standards.

As more cities across South Africa strive to become ‘smart’, integrating advanced surveillance technologies becomes crucial. These solutions can form the basis for developing smarter, safer, and more sustainable cities. Accessing next-generation surveillance solutions will deliver enhanced security and a significantly improved quality of urban life. These technologies become pivotal in preparing cities for future challenges, ensuring they are safer, more efficient, and ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

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