Use Case 3 – Small Shopping Complex


The shopping complex, through the property manager, approached Watcher for a solution where armed robberies are a problem. The current guards are not effective in preventing the crimes or apprehending/identifying the perpetrators.

These robberies happened during daytime at gunpoint often with getaway vehicles waiting in the parking area or in the street. The perpetrators often create a distraction to keep the guards occupied while the incident is in progress.

The customer further required perimeter protection to prevent break-ins to the shops after hours.


Watcher’s analysis showed that, to prevent the incidents from happening, precursors to the event should be detected. These have been identified as:

  • Vehicles of interest (stolen or used in previous criminal activity)
  • Persons of interest (known criminals and wanted persons)
  • Unparked vehicles and people loitering in the parking area
  • First time visitors.

If precursors do not alert the operator, it is of importance to detect that an incident is in progress to dispatch armed response timeously. Watcher recommended the following measures:

  • Panic buttons in all the stores
  • Alerting on speeding vehicles
  • Alerting on running people.

On dispatching armed reaction, it is important to provide the responders with a clear description and location of the perpetrators. In the event of the perpetrators fleeing, information regarding the route taken, as well as means of fleeing (vehicle [model, make and colour] or on foot) needs to be communicated to the responders.

Watcher proposed the following solution:

  • Number Plate Readers at entrance and exit. All plates are tested against the SAPS database of flagged number plates
  • Cameras strategically placed at entrances of high-risk shops with facial recognition. All faces are tested against a database of 50,000 wanted persons
  • Cameras viewing the parking area, monitoring the following suspicious behaviour:
  • Loitering vehicles and persons
  • Running persons
  • Speeding vehicles
  • Panic buttons at all shops
  • Perimeter cameras for night-time surveillance
  • A PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) camera with 55x zoom capability with patrol pattern for monitoring of the parking area.

Historical Costing

Day Shift
Patrolling Guards x 2 @ R14,000R28 000,00
Day Shift Total R28 000,00
Night Shift
Patrolling Guards x 1 @ R14,000R14 000,00
Night Shift Total R14 000,00
Total Cost (Guarding)R42 000,00

Watcher’s Costing

ItemQtyMonthly Cost
AC Power, Fence Reticulated60R169
ANPR/LPR (2,8-12 mm lens)2R1 078
Overview 100 Meter IR3R770
Overview 50 Meter IR3R404
Overview Wide Angle IR3R323
Pan, Tilt, Zoom1R2 426
Panoramic Fisheye Camera5R3 081
Cat 6 Cable, Fence Reticulated200R216
Fibre Cable, Fence Reticulated200R377
UPS Type 11R270
Cabinet for wall mounted cameras3R3 397
Fibre backhaul – 50/501R1 540
Router Board1R67
Facial Recognition Database Access1R2 100
Facial Recognition Device Licence5R1 288
Facial Recognition Edge Processor1R387
Panic Button20R791
Watcher VMS, 15-day, AI18R6 750
Watcher VMS, 15-day, LPR2R750
24/7/365 Monitoring20R7 001
  R33 680

Armed Reaction is included in the WSS Monitoring; however, each callout is charged at R490.

Value Proposition

The total cost of surveillance provides the property owner a monthly saving of around R8,000 and provides increased protection against crime on the premises. It provides proactive alerting of vehicles and persons of interest and warning of possible armed robbery incidents in progress as well as providing a heads up to armed response units to prepare for the incident in progress. The solution also provides the responders a clear identification of fleeing perpetrators (number plates and faces). Perimeter surveillance provides pro-active alerting of perimeter breaches for timeous response to prevent break-ins and damage to property.

A safer environment also creates a higher demand for rental space resulting in higher income to the property owner.