Cape Town, Rio Are Vanguard Cities Implementing Safety, Security Apps

A majority of cities have at least piloted programs to outfit police officers with body-worn cameras.

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Aerial-photo-CapeTown.jpg
Aerial photo of Cape Town South Africa, overlooking Table Mountain and Lions Head (www.shutterstock.com)

Security applications have vaulted to the top of the priority list for cities with high crime rates, such as Rio, Cape Town, Mexico City, and Chicago, says a report from the global management consulting firm, McKinsey.

The Smart Cities: Digital Solutions For A More Livable Future report states that cities such as Rio and Cape Town are in the vanguard of those implementing safety and security applications

McKinsey found that cities in the developing world generally lag behind wealthier cities in the number of applications implemented in most domains.

The report states that a clear majority of cities have at least piloted smart surveillance, real-time crime mapping, and outfitting police officers with body-worn cameras. “Almost half are not yet using or even piloting digital applications to speed the dispatch of first responders to emergencies, and very few are conducting data-driven building inspections.”

The report found that at least some basic form of crime mapping is now a standard feature for police departments all over the world.

McKinsey found that thirteen cities on it list link this information to real-time maps that residents can access.

It added that almost half of the cities are at least piloting predictive policing, while seven are already using it at scale.

A majority of cities have at least piloted programs to outfit police officers with body-worn cameras. In terms of broader safety and security measures, half of all the cities in our analysis have set up systems (either piloted or scaled) to provide early warnings of disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, storms, and floods, the report stated.

Around half have introduced digital applications to speed the dispatch of first responders to the scene of emergencies.

“The cities that have implemented the greatest number of security and safety applications overall are New York, Los Angeles, Rio, San Francisco, and Boston. New York, in particular, is noteworthy for its creative approach to financing security technology,” McKinsey concluded.

“The city’s police department partnered with Microsoft to develop its Domain Awareness System, which is now marketed to other cities; New York receives 30 percent of the profit from those sales.”

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