Police power up Krugersdorp

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Gauteng's police have solved a power problem at the West Rand 10111 contact centre.

The Afrikaans daily, Beeld, this morning reports that powercuts in Krugersdorp left the contact centre helpless to respond to crime.

The paper says the contact centre was without power for several hours yesterday. During that time, the paper reports, robbers and cash-in-transit guards had a shootout at a shopping centre close to the police facility.

The paper adds that police there could hear the shots, but were powerless to assist as neither their phones nor radios worked. Police quoted in the report added that an outage at the centre deadened all radios on the West Rand. They added that the problem had been reported to Gauteng police headquarters, but that nothing had been done.

Gauteng police spokesman superintendent Eugene Opperman says police technicians and a private contractor have been working at the contact centre for the last two weeks to install a dedicated generator for the radio control room. This task was coincidentally completed last night. "Power outages should never again affect the working of this control centre," he says.

The West Rand police contact centre should have been integrated into the R604 million Gauteng police contact centre, in Midrand, that already serves Pretoria, Soweto, Kempton Park, Vereeniging, and the East Rand. Only Johannesburg and the West Rand still have legacy contact centres using obsolescent equipment.

The transfer of these centres to the Midrand-based provincial centre has been delayed by public opposition to masts for the Terrestrial Trunked Radio system used to great effect elsewhere in the province.

Opperman also rebutted the contention that a power outage at the contact centre killed all radio communications in the West Rand. He says the handheld and vehicle-mounted radios used by police on the beat are battery-powered and communicate directly with each other. In addition, control room staff can use handheld radios when their primary radio is down.

Related stories:
Tetra migration complete by March
Switchboard hinders West Rand police
10111 switch-over "on track"
Emergency contact centre opens
112 by 2010?
Cops deny 'radio shambles' report
Tetra 10111 centres due countrywide
Tetra boosts police capability
Mbeki opens 10111 centre
R600m boost for Gauteng's 10111

Leon Engelbrecht
ITWeb senior writer

Leon Engelbrecht is an ITWeb senior writer.

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