News Article

ShotSpotter technology saves another life in Nelson Mandela Bay

Published: May 31, 2021

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The life of a 16 year old child may have been cut short were it not for the quick response by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Metro Police to a shooting incident, picked up by Shotspotter technology, in Helenvale recently.   This is the second life that has been saved this year as a result of this technology immediately alerting law enforcement authorities to gunfire in the area.  

Just after midday on the 23rd of May, the ShotSpotter system detected multiple rounds fired during a gang shootout in Deverell Road in Helenvale. The SAPS and the Metro Police reached the crime scene within minutes of receiving the alert and found a 16 year old boy with a gunshot wound to his left thigh after having been caught in the crossfire.

 The victim was immediately stabilised and rushed to the Livingstone Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. 

This follows the shooting incident in January in the same street where a 28-year-old male was wounded in the neck. ShotSpotter sensors and the quick response by first responders meant that the victim was in an ambulance en route to a hospital for emergency treatment within 11 minutes of the shooting. 

ShotSpotter was first installed as a pilot project in Helenvale in 2016. After seeing a major reduction in gunfire incidents in the area, the technology became a permanent fixture in the last quarter of 2020. 

"These successes are a great example of what can be achieved when law enforcement authorities work hand-in-hand with technology that helps amplify their resources and ensure more accurate responses to criminal activity in communities,” said Ralph A. Clark, President and CEO of ShotSpotter. 

"We are pleased that ShotSpotter is not only helping save lives but is also assisting law enforcement officers to bring these criminals to book. The quick reaction to last week’s shooting meant the police were able to gather valuable evidence that will hopefully lead to the swift arrest and successful prosecution of the shooters,” added Clark. 

John Best, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security said: "I would like to commend the sterling work of both the SAPS and Metro Police and laud them for their efficiency when it comes to responding as soon as gunshots are detected by the ShotSpotter technology.

"This close partnership between municipal and national law enforcement authorities is making Nelson Mandela Bay safer. The ShotSpotter system radically improves the frequency, accuracy and speed of our response.

"It disrupts gun violence and saves lives and, in so doing, is helping to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the community.

"Together with the SAPS, and as part of the national safer-city initiative, we have identified several other suburbs within the metro that are being plagued by gang and drug-related gun violence. Depending on budget availability, the municipality is seriously considering expanding the program,” MMC Best said.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality by Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (082 780 2726 / 041 506 1500 / kbaron@mandelametro.gov.za / @kupidobaron).


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