WAY TO GO?Will Segway electric vehicles be the way to go for visible policing in SA Image: Imperial Green Mobility
With the latest statistics from the South African Police Service showing that crimes such as carjacking and robbery with aggravating circumstances are up by 14.2% and 8.5% respectively, there is a great demand for visible policing.
According to the Gallup Global Law and Order Report for 2015, South Africa ranks 138th out of 141 countries for its capacity to maintain law and order.
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Electric vehicle specialists Imperial Green Mobility believes Segways can help curb crime in SA.
EV patroller in SA
Visible policing plays a critical role in crime and restoring public confidence – a factor which is paramount in a country that just scored incredibly low in a survey that gauges people’s sense of safety, reports Imperial Green Mobility.
Imperial Green Mobility managing director, Jonathan Cohen, said: “Nothing packs a power punch to visible patrolling and policing quite like a Segway.”
Cohen says: “Visible policing is already a primary strategy for urban safety in South Africa, but it is abundantly clear that it’s time to take it up a level. And with Segway patrollers, we can do exactly that.”
Segway’s fleet of two- and three-wheel electric patrollers are deployed by police forces and private security firms all over the globe and they're gaining traction in South Africa.
Is a Segway effective at deterring criminals?
Imperial Green Mobility believes the presence of a Segway electric patroller "automatically heightens the awareness of a security presence in the area, and affords security guards improved sightlines and visibility within their environment".
Imperial Green Mobility’s pilot project with Sandton Central’s Public Safety Ambassadors in October 2013 proved highly successful, verifying response times of "4 times faster on a Segway than on foot".
A similar initiative along Cape Town’s busy beachfronts reports an estimated 20% drop in crime levels, according to the organisation.
What about police response time?
Wessel Boshoff, group operations manager at Atterbury, says Segways improved response times of its security guards and its security policies.
Boshoff: "The use of Segway patrollers has reduced our patrol times and turnaround times by up to 70%."
Imperial Green Mobility said: "While first line responders on Segways are able to cover more ground more quickly, they also arrive on the scene of an emergency far less fatigued, and reportedly draw greater confidence from the professionalism that Segways add to their uniform.
"Guards on Segways are also able to travel indoors, outdoors, and over varied and uneven terrain, to positively interact with the community, and gather necessary intelligence from citizens."