CCTV cameras are spread across Cape Town and play a vital role in keeping the city safe. We asked how this could be recycled for public benefit?
Until recently, this footage has not been available for public viewing as it provides powerful insights into the modus operandi of criminals. In collaboration with the City of Cape Town’s Metropolitan Police Department, The Safety Lab, Mamba Media and Y&R South Africa have explored ways to recycle CCTV footage for public benefit.
The Be City Smart website www.becitysmart.co.za is the latest CCTV activation and represents an important project milestone. The site offers an engaging online repository of creatively repurposed CCTV footage, together with essential safety information related to street crimes. Be City Smart empowers individuals to be more savvy about their own safety, and makes it easy for them to alert friends and family to street crime types via social media.
We first went digital with the be #longstreetsmart initiative whereby edited CCTV footage of actual crimes were projected onto mobile billboards in the vicinity where they occurred. This was the precursor to be city smart. The #longstreetsmart initiative was recently awarded first place in the outdoor category by international website www.bestadsontv.com.
Our first CCTV activation entailed developing a comic book called CCTVision highlighting six crime types in the CBD as well as protective actions to guard against these. 50 000 copies were distributed during Cape Town’s busy summer holiday season in 2012 half of which distributed by Metro Police officers.