International policing experts say the placement of advanced camera technology is one of the main strategies being used to prevent terrorist activities worldwide, especially in countries like the US.

They were speaking at the eThekwini Municipality’s Advanced Safety for All seminars.

Experts in the policing and technology fields were invited to share their views on successful policing strategies.

When asked if these strategies could be implemented in Durban, Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said not all of the city’s CCTV cameras are in working order.

“The fact that community helps police to make arrests, I think is fundamental in our society. Cameras helped them to really get the criminal element. Some of our cameras are not in working order and we need to get those cameras to work in order for it to do its job. In the camera room, we haven’t really done a policy whereby one can assimilate the information that comes to see exactly where the hotspots are. Once that is mapped out, one could then do the intelligence in the area.”

Microsoft Government Industry leader for the Middle East and Africa, Salwa Smaoui, shared digital transformation strategies that the company has been using to assist governments around the world to bring about a change in policing.

She says through algorithms, modern day technology now has the capability to pick out patterns in criminal activity and intercept suspects before crimes are even committed.

“The fact is not about having all that data, the fact is, how do I structure that data so I can drive the right insight? It can allow me to predict what can happen but better yet governments are looking for ways that this data insight and this prediction tells me what I should do. How do I predict given my pattern and what I’ve learnt in the past with some of the algorithms to say what can happen?”