HALT’s armed response service no longer only consists of a vehicle dispatched to your house or business when your alarm activates. This preferred local security company is now utilising mobile LPR (License Plate Recognition) camera technology in their vehicles to help them identify and act on a criminal threat immediately to prevent crime before it is committed. HALT has equipped several of their armed response vehicles deployed in Durbanville and surrounding areas with LPR cameras. HALT has also equipped their control centre with LPR camera management software and hardware and will now form part of the bigger LPR camera network and northern suburbs LPR user group. George Conradie of HALT alludes that LPR cameras are able to recognise and identify number plates on vehicles which have been flagged as suspicious or dangerous, which have been stolen, or in one way or another been involved in criminal activity, and as a result, listed on a central database of wanted vehicles, or vehicles under surveillance. When one of HALT’s LPR cameras identifies a suspect vehicle, HALT will directly and immediately share the information with other security companies and law enforcement agencies. In doing so, HALT contributes to a synergistic and coordinated approach to cast a wide net for wrong-doers. Together with the LPR camera, HALT’s vehicles are being equipped with a tablet size monitor. When the LPR camera sounds to alert the armed response officer of a suspect vehicle, the response officer will be able to see all relevant information and protocols to follow on the tablet screen. HALT’s control centre immediately receives the same information and instructions.
The functions and use of these intelligent cameras go beyond only licence plate recognition though. Because the LPR camera captures and stores everything it sees, it literally gives an LPR user such as HALT the ability to manage information received from the cameras, and retrieve information stored by the cameras on a given previous date for investigation purposes. If you, for example, report a suspicious vehicle in your neighbourhood to HALT, especially if you can quote the licence plate number, HALT would be able to check if that particular vehicle had been flagged for having been involved in crime, and also check when and where HALT’s cameras have spotted said vehicle. As a Durbanville and Bellville resident, this affords you the ideal opportunity to serve as eyes and ears, and utilise the LPR solution offered by HALT to your neighbourhood’s and Durbanville’s advantage. Conradie says HALT has always been a company with a proactive mindset, and that it never intended to simply offer a vehicle reactively dispatched to your house on alarm activation. Instead, HALT wants to be positioned and equipped to effectively manage the safety and security of the area they serve. To achieve this goal, HALT’s first step was to reduce the size of the area each of their armed response vehicles services. By doing so HALT has been able to increase security presence to deter crime, while at the same time reducing reaction times to alarm activations. With the addition of the LPR cameras, HALT has moved ahead in leaps and bounds to contribute to proactive safety in the community they serve. Worth noting is that HALT not only carries the cost of installing the cameras in their vehicles, but also the extra cost of managing and monitoring the information received from the cameras.
Conradie says this is only one way HALT invests back into the community which supports them. Conradie goes on to say that as the support for HALT’s armed response service from the community grows, the more HALT ploughs back and that the LPR cameras in their vehicles is only the start. They continuously do a lot of technological updates to keep up with this digital age to have eyes everywhere in the area to ensure the safety of you and your family. One such other advance is HALT’s mobile panic app. Conradie says most people have a panic button as part of their alarm at home, but how will you call for help in an emergency when you cannot, or do not have the time, to phone? HALT’s panic app effectively turns your cellphone into a mobile panic button and when it is pressed, HALT can pin-point your exact location, come to your aid, and also dispatch other emergency services to your location. “As a locally based armed response company we have kept our focus on a local and specifically demarcated area for the past 17 years. This is making it possible for us to be involved in our community, and get down to managing detail, both of which are things which could get lost when one’s focus is to conquer a large as possible area, and armed response simply becomes a numbers game.”