South Africa pilots police stations of the future

18 March 2014 | Sergio Ortega Cruz, Worldwide Industry Solution Manager, Public Safety and National Security

Our ongoing effort to bring innovative technology to the world’s cities, towns, and communities has yielded some amazing results since we launched the Microsoft CityNext initiative last July. Through modern solutions, public safety and law enforcement officials are able significantly improve their situational awareness and enable faster, more accurate decision-making to help protect citizens while also better preparing their departments for urban population growth.

A great example of this is the Integrated Justice System (IJS) currently being piloted by the South African Police Service. The IJS – which is based on the Domain Awareness System currently used by the New York Police Department – uses sensors and closed circuit TV cameras to help agents quickly collect and analyze intelligence from the ground in crime-prone areas. The new system gives the South African Police Service unprecedented collaboration capabilities among the separate legacy systems that have historically connected the country’s six justice departments.

The IJS cameras are supported by a software suite that helps facilitate better case management by prioritizing urgent incidents in real time. If a crime such as a robbery or hijacking is reported in progress, an alert is pushed to the top of the screen for all system users so that units can be deployed immediately. An automatic number plate recognition system as utilizes the cameras to help track vehicles reported as missing or stolen, then reports that information back to a control center where agents can effectively use the intelligence. Eventually, the South African Police Service may consolidate all of its CCTV and information-gathering systems accessible through the IJS software – including existing systems like the Department of Home Affairs, FICA, and RICA databases – which could help track criminal movement between towns and cities.  

Sensors in modern cities can be an enormously helpful source of intelligence for law enforcement, where the sheer volume of incoming information can be overwhelming to manage, much less to analyze and act on. These more sophisticated intelligence systems can help ensure that a police force’s manpower is directed where it is needed most urgently: not on sifting through mountains of paperwork, but on apprehending criminals and keeping citizens safe. As the world’s urban population continues to grow, we look forward to partnering with forward-looking public safety and justice organizations to bring these solutions to the communities where they are needed most.

To learn more about our efforts to protect and serve cities, please visit the Microsoft CityNext website. To ask questions, share ideas, or receive more information about IJS in South Africa, please contact us at safetyanddefense@microsoft.com or @MicrosoftPSNS.

Sergio Ortega Cruz
Worldwide Industry Solution Manager, Public Safety and National Security

About the Author

Sergio Ortega Cruz | Worldwide Industry Solution Manager, Public Safety and National Security

Sergio Ortega Cruz has more than 14 years of experience managing sales strategies, go-to-market initiatives, and partner development in several verticals, covering virtually all facets of the public safety, justice and national security industries. Read more