Western Cape Government launches Safety Dashboard
Joint Media Release: Western Cape Government launches Safety Dashboard providing real-time data to provincial safety stakeholders
Today, the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, the Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, and the Provincial Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, officially launched the Western Cape Government’s Safety Dashboard.
The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, explained that the Safety Dashboard will provide real-time data to provincial safety stakeholders.
“The dashboard is updated every 3 days and is being automated to further provide daily updates. It has been active since the end of March 2022 and is constantly being upgraded. We have further made it accessible to Western Cape safety stakeholders including the SAPS, the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety and the City of Cape Town,” said Premier Winde.
Premier Winde added, “We need real-time data to not only guide our deployments based on past incidents but also to anticipate where new hotspots may appear so that we can deploy the necessary resources - before lives are lost. While the release of the quarterly crime statistics helps to paint a picture of trends in criminal activity, it does not share real-time information, which is precisely what the Safety Dashboard sets out to do.”
Reflecting on the use of data throughout the pandemic, Premier Winde said: “We know that data is absolutely critical in ensuring effective service delivery. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we established the province’s award-winning COVID-19 dashboard, helping us to not only track cases, hospitalisations and deaths – but further guide our planning ahead of waves. In launching the Safety Dashboard today, we are leveraging the lessons learnt from COVID-19, and are ensuring that we use real-time data to make the province safer for all who live in it.”
As set out in the Western Cape Safety Plan, the Safety Dashboard will help to ensure data-led and evidence law enforcement-based deployments of the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers, and will be made available to the relevant safety stakeholders. It will also guide us in terms of our violence prevention interventions. “The Safety Plan further clearly states that this will be achieved by using an evidence-driven and data-led approach,” added the Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen.
This Safety Dashboard will further support the establishment of the Provincial Department of Health and Wellness’ Violence Prevention Unit which was announced during the Premier’s State of the Province Address earlier this year. While still in its development phase, the Provincial Department is hard at work to ensure its successful launch.
The Provincial Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, said: “I am proud to announce the establishment of the Safety Dashboard which is part of an ongoing Safety Plan of the Western Cape Government. This is part of ongoing work and we hope to continue to improve existing products and develop new ones. The Safety Dashboard is based on data entered at 34 health facilities in the Western Cape. It allows us to see the patterns of admissions into these emergency centres.”
The foundation of the dashboard is the Hospital Emergency Centre Triage and Information System (HECTIS). The HECTIS is a web-based data collection system for patients attending emergency centres across the Western Cape.
Using HECTIS data, the Safety Dashboard will track:
- When and where injuries occur;
- The mechanism of injury and the pattern of injury presentation over time;
- Patterns of trauma in particular populations such as gender or age groups over time;
- Patterns of trauma among pregnant women presenting at emergency centres; and
- Non-trauma presentations.
“The Safety Dashboard will improve the deployment of policing resources by providing operational teams with information that can assist with resource deployment, strategy and tactics aimed at improving safety in the Western Cape,” added Minister Mbombo.
Minister Allen explained that the evidence-based and data-led deployments of LEAP officers were previously made using the Provincial Department of Health and Wellness’s Forensic Pathology Services data.
“This data is used together with the Safety Dashboard too and has helped to increase the number of firearms confiscated, determine where to deploy LEAP based on homicide incidents, establish a Reaction Unit, and successfully deploy LEAP members through a 24-hour shift system, 7 days a week,” added Minister Allen.
Premier Winde said: “Going forward, we will be bolstering the Safety Dashboard by integrating the Emergency Medical Services data into it. This will give us a more complete picture of violence and trauma in the province. We will also be rolling out the HECTIS system to more facilities, providing us with more data and a wider geographic picture of trauma in the province. Data from HECTIS will further be stored at the Provincial Health Data Centre which will also be displayed on the Safety Dashboard.”