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Securing the city
April 2018, Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management

Crime, accidents, natural disasters – these threats that are faced by the city every day cannot be removed and resolved by technology. Technology is not the broom that sweeps the city clean of crime. However, it can enhance the capabilities of systems, cities and services to help both government and citizen face these challenges with greater agility and intelligence.

“What keeps leaders up at night?” asks Peter Goulding, global public safety expert, Huawei Enterprise Business Group. “It is the spontaneous unplanned attack, the crime wave and the issues that impact on public safety. Technology cannot solve these problems, but it does provide agencies with an operational edge. It hands them the tools they need to respond more effectively before, during, and after the event.”

Implementing a system that allows for communication and collaboration across city and government agencies provides them with information and intelligence that can potentially transform how they operate in an emergency or event. It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but already the cloud and big data are being used in major cities like London to enhance the capabilities of government departments and solve the challenges of public safety.

The constant flow of data is too relentless for people to manage, which is why technology has become such a valuable tool. Modern solutions are designed to crunch the data and pull out relevant trends or patterns that can then be taken a step further by whichever agency they apply to. It also ensures that the right agency gets the right information – a trend in fire reports in one area should alert the fire department, not the police, for example. This same capability can potentially be applied to predictive policing or security – using the data and technology to prevent an incident from happening in the first place.

“You can use the technology to find patterns that change deployment, but you can only do this if you have the knowledge,” adds Goulding.

In South Africa, these tools have ­enormous potential to support the various police agencies across the South African police force and the municipalities. It can allow for two-way engagement with the communities – soothing nerves while also using the information received to improve reaction times and ensure relevant agencies are deployed.

“Our command and control solutions are built around the next generation 112/911 standards that allow for support services to bring in calls and requests from a variety of different sources – video, photo, text, SMS, social media and more,” explains Goulding. “The technology absorbs all these formats, then passes on the call to the right agency to deal with the issue. It also allows for the emergency services departments to communicate more effectively with communities, calming fears and providing important information.”

It is in this elegant dance of data and delivery that technology truly shines as a protective knight in the smart city of today, and tomorrow. It isn’t a complicated or devastatingly costly endeavour. It harnesses one of the most accessible and cost-effective tools of today – connectivity – and merges it with the evolving capabilities of analytics, cloud and big data to provide governments and communities with valuable support and insight.

For more information, contact Huawei Enterprise, 086 001 8000,

Supplied By: Huawei Technologies South Africa
Tel: +27 11 517 9800
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