STRENGTHENING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES
South Africa's high-tech police service has much more than fast cars, firearms and handcuffs at its disposal to maintain safety in the country.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has adopted a strategy that governs SAPS' innovative use of information systems and information and communication technology.
The first focus area of the strategy aims at modernizing and expanding the number of personal computers, printers and fax machines while the second modernization and expansion of the hosting capabilities and network infrastructure.
During the year ending March 31 2006, SAPS' client services and administrative systems benefited from the deployment of a total of 35 890 items of end-user equipment including:
This equipment enables personnel to capture and share information efficiently and timeously. It also enhances SAPS training programmes.
SAPS took delivery of 100 Blackberry devices for detectives in a pilot scheme aimed at investigating whether this improved their ability to deal with complaints and to communicate and collaborate with prosecutors and the general public.
During the year under review SAPS maintained and enhanced the Geographical Information System at 340 priority police stations. This system provides police with satellite images that can assist with the development of crime prevention activities, especially in rural areas where physical addresses are limited.
The incidence of crime and crime patterns can be identified and presented on geographical maps and aerial photographs, providing a clear, realistic and informative perspective of crime trends in given areas.
Individuals or syndicates wishing to slip through South Africa's major border posts or other ports of entry are up against a growing arsenal of information technology.
Outdated equipment has been replaced at 60 different offices at ports of entry.
New information and communication technology (ICT) containers have been placed at 11 ports of entry, loaded with the latest appropriate technology. Upgrades have been effected at Durban International Airport, Johannesburg International, Cape Town International and Lanseria.
Stepping up the fight against crime
The South African government and business community have set in motion a series of interventions in the management of policing, justice and correctional services in a bid to turn around the crime situation in the country.