« Back to News

Cape Town, South Africa Selects Shotspotter Gunfire Detection System

October 07, 2016

SST, Inc., known for its gunfire detection and analysis, has announced that Cape Town, South Africa − rated among the world's most violent cities − has selected ShotSpotter as a pivotal part of its crime prevention efforts to reduce gun violence and murders. SST, Inc., the maker of ShotSpotter Flex, is working with Cape Town's Department of Safety and Security to deploy the technology over seven square kilometers (more than 4 square miles) in the high-crime areas of Manenberg and Hanover Park.

Cape Town, a port city and the capital of the Western Cape Province, has a high concentration of gang and gun violence in the seven square kilometers where ShotSpotter is being deployed.

"For the month of September, a total of 31 incidents were recorded, down from 128 in August and 211 in July, when ShotSpotter was activated. Although we would need to analyze shooting patterns over a longer period to accurately quantify the impact, the initial success of the technology has been stunning," said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. "Not only does the technology empower the police force, but also seems to give the community renewed impetus in the fight against gangsterism. During the pilot project, we saw an increasing willingness from the community to come forward with tip-offs that resulted in arrests and the confiscation of drugs and weapons. Between October 2014 and mid-November when the pilot period ended, Metro Police made nearly 30 arrests in Hanover Park, including five for the possession of illegal firearms."

"We are proud to partner with Cape Town to help crack down on gun violence and make this beautiful city safer and more secure for its residents," said Ralph A. Clark, President and CEO of SST/ShotSpotter. "We know how to help solve the problems so many cities face. More than 90 municipalities use ShotSpotter to assist law enforcement with fast, accurate gunfire data that can save lives and rein in crime. Since most gunfire goes unreported to police, ShotSpotter becomes an incredibly valuable tool to alert police to all gunfire incidents, which enables them to respond to the crime scene quickly, precisely and safely. In fact, fewer than one in five unlawful gunfire incidents are reported to police, and in the communities most impacted by gun violence, those residents are the least likely to call."

In addition to Cape Town, ShotSpotter has been in use in South Africa's Kruger National Park to help park authorities fight rhino poachers. With a very small proof of concept deployment, ShotSpotter helped detect two poaching events that led to the capture and prosecution of several poachers as well as the recovery of a baby rhino whose mother was poached.

Police Magazine: Cape Town, South Africa