Diepsloot cops are using the internet of things to catch crooks

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The South African Police Services in Diepsloot have announced a partnership with Memeza and Namola to fight crime in a distinctly 21st century fashion – by using the internet of things.

Over the last few months the Memeza project has donated alarm systems to households in Diepsloot. When these alarm systems are triggered by motion sensors or a panic button, an alert is sent to the local SAPS station.

“The Memeza initiative has been very successful to date. It has seen a meaningful drop in crime and an improvement in the relationship between the residents of Diepsloot and the police,” Diepsloot station commander, Brigadier Moichela said.

The partnership with Namola will seek to expand on what the Memeza project has done to date by installing Namola devices directly into police vehicles.

An example of the devices Namola will install into SAPS vehicles in Diepsloot.
An example of the devices Namola will install into SAPS vehicles in Diepsloot.

When an alarm is triggered an alert will be sent to both the station and the nearest police vehicle. While the vehicle is en-route, the station will contact the home owner to verify the alert and provide the vehicle with information about what to expect when it arrives or rescind the alert in the case of a false alarm.

The Namola service is currently being used by the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) albeit in a slightly different format. In Tshwane citizens can download an app (Android and iOS) to share their location with TMPD in the event of an emergency. The alert is sent to a tablet installed in the police vehicle and a similar process of verify the emergency takes place.

Because the proliferation of smartphones in Diepsloot is not as great as it is in Tshwane, the partnership between these three organisations to create a solution not based around a smartphone is great.

“Our aim is to help all citizens get police assistance when they need it, faster. By working with the highly driven people from Memeza and the committed officers from SAPS Diepsloot, we’re given a new opportunity to learn and understand how Namola can be updated and tailored to the needs of all South African citizens and crime fighting organizations,” said Katekani Baloyi from Namola.

This is an incredibly cool project and one we hope to see spread to more communities around South Africa.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.