Success lies in planning

November 2019 Security Services & Risk Management

A safe and smart city will only be successful if it is planned properly, if there is buy-in from all the stakeholders and if it is managed efficiently.

Any city can install cameras and have a video wall, but if the planning wasn’t done effectively, it will fail. The city requires all role players to be involved, from the roads authority to the police force, private security and the court system.

Detailed planning involves setting objectives - what does the city want to achieve, choosing the correct technologies for the specific application, identifying the role players involved and enabling the effective management and staffing of the systems.

For example, a technology that alerts the police about shots being fired helps them to respond to the right location much faster, but if there is no reaction because the alert doesn’t feed into the police response system there is no point. This is why planning is so important; what does the city want from the system and who needs to receive the information?

An aspect of the planning process that often gets overlooked involves setting benchmarks and testing the system. It is important to understand upfront whether the system is working and that all the stakeholders are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, from the control room staff all the way through to the emergency response teams and even the maintenance staff looking after the cameras and other equipment. Proper planning will ensure that the city is constantly managing the system’s performance to make sure it is running optimally.


Kobus van Deventer.

Data management is another aspect that needs to be considered during the planning phase. The city will be collecting much more data than before, but if it is unable to turn that data into intelligence, make it available to the right role players and start predicting where crime hot spots are, for example, that data will mean very little to make the city safer and more efficient. Good data management practices are needed to make the data valuable to the city.

Finally, the sharing of information between all stakeholders is crucial. For example, in Russia, if you receive a speeding ticket you won’t be able to fly out of the country as the traffic offence system is connected to the airport and customs. Information must be shared between departments and cities; if a crime happens in Johannesburg that information needs to be shared with law enforcement in Pretoria.

Facial recognition is the new buzzword - the technology is efficient and is getting used more. Proper planning will once again be crucial for the city to be able to gain intelligence from it. Important questions to ask include: to which database does the facial recognition technology connect, who manages it and where does the information get sent to?

All a city’s services can benefit from cameras, surveillance and facial recognition, no one contests this. However, a city can have the best infrastructure, but if it isn’t staffed correctly it will not have the required impact.

A successful safe/smart city project provides the city with a force multiplier, which means it can accomplish a great number of things from a well-planned investment.


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Employee screening trends
iFacts Security Services & Risk Management
Criminal record checks still the most popular background check conducted around the world, but global employee screening trends are changing according to iFacts.

Read more...
South African business readies for a journey to the cloud
Security Services & Risk Management
There is an increasing demand for cloud services in the country, driven by the need to use advanced technologies such as AI while also providing hybrid workers access to data, regardless of their location.

Read more...
What to do in the face of growing ransomware attacks
Technews Publishing Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
Ransomware attacks are proliferating, with attackers becoming more sophisticated and aggressive, and often hitting the same victims more than once, in more than one way.

Read more...
South Africa can accelerate its move to smart cities
Security Services & Risk Management
What global smart city leaders have in common is that they have built on, and developed existing infrastructure, transforming it iteratively; South Africa is well positioned to adopt this approach.

Read more...
Where does SA logistics stand as far as cybersecurity is concerned?
Logistics (Industry) Security Services & Risk Management
Lesiba Sebola, director of information technology at Bidvest International Logistics, says it is paramount to safeguard IT infrastructure given how central it has become to operations.

Read more...
The Deposita Protector 3000 d-s1
Deposita Security Services & Risk Management
The Protector 3000 d-s1, designed for medium-sized enterprises, improves the level of security at the business and helps optimise resources by streamlining cash-handling processes.

Read more...
Top fraud trends to watch in 2023
News Security Services & Risk Management
Even though financial concerns remain a significant obstacle for companies in implementing new anti-fraud technologies, 60% of businesses expect an increase in their anti-fraud technology budgets in the next two years.

Read more...
Be cautious when receiving deliveries at home
News Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Security Services & Risk Management
Community reports of residents being held up at their gate when collecting fast food deliveries at home are once again surfacing.

Read more...
Sasol ensures Zero Trust for SAP financials with bioLock
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
Multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, for SAP Financials from realtime North America prevents financial compliance avoidance for Sasol.

Read more...
Protecting yourself from DDoS attacks
Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
A DDoS attack, when an attacker floods a server or network with Internet traffic to prevent users from accessing connected online services, can be costly in both earnings and reputation.

Read more...