ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Jamaica Eye system is underutilized

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ONLINE READERS COMMENT: Jamaica Eye system is underutilized

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I would like to applaud the entire Jamaica Eye network along with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for their quick action in identifying the vehicle and the owner who was involved in the recent mowing down of a police officer.

A few years ago we would not be at this point and I'm sure that, if not for this system, the taxi operator would have continued to 'run' the streets knowing full well that he would not be caught.

Well, times have changed, and we apparently now have the full backing of technology to support us.

However, I must raise one concern about Jamaica Eye – a concern that many are thinking but reluctant to say. Where has Jamaica Eye been all this time when drivers continue to drive recklessly endangering the lives of their passengers and other motorists?

Where has it been when drivers continue to disobey traffic lights? Wasn't this network of surveillance able to pick up robberies taking place?

I know the full roll out of the system was expected to occur in September 2019, but I haven't heard any reports of its effectiveness until the tragic incident involving the lawman.

During that time (September 2019) until now several robberies have taken place leaving many citizens in fear for their lives.

The question now is, has this system been underutilized the whole time?

The cameras under Jamaica Eye were intended to monitor public spaces across the island and assist the authorities in responding to incidents linked to a disaster, act of criminality or accident.

I would like to know who is monitoring this system daily and does this person provide information quickly to the JCF; and if they do, how quickly do these officers act? There are numerous incidents linked to criminal behaviour around us that requires surveillance to apprehend these individuals.

While I laud the move by the Ministry of National Security, there is still room for improvement. We can clamp down on crime if we make the effort to do so. Too much is happening in our small island of paradise that is affecting our growth agenda.

I remember when Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Fitz Jackson, called on the Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, to consider that one of the major contributors to the increase in crime was the decrease in public order starting in public spaces – markets, squares etc. He also made an appeal for the Government to invest more in the equipment – Jamaica Eye.

I am of the belief that this would work along with a quick, reactive and proactive JCF. Unless this is done, Jamaica's murder rate will not go down.

Andre Heslop

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