KSAMC eyes CCTV to monitor vending, urinating in public spaces

Observer writer

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is negotiating with JamaicaEye for use of its cameras to monitor vending, illegal parking, the dumping of garbage, and urinating in public spaces, particularly in downtown Kingston and Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.

The disclosure was made by Kingston Mayor Senator Delroy Williams at yesterday's monthly meeting of the municipal authority.

“We could easily deploy staff to sort out areas where there are infractions,” Williams told the Jamaica Observer after the meeting.

Under the JamaicaEye programme launched by the Ministry of National Security in March, a national closed circuit television (CCTV) system is being established to assist in fighting crime, assuring public safety and fine-tuning disaster response.

The programme will use cameras installed by the Government. Private individuals who have digital cameras covering public spaces outside their properties have been invited by the State to register with the programme and share their feed.

Earlier, the council approved a resolution calling for the proposed amendments to the National Solid Waste Management Public Cleansing Regulations to include the doubling of fines and custodial sentences in circumstances where the infractions occur within 100 feet of any national heritage site.

In debating the resolution moved by Councillor Donovan Samuels (JLP, Tivoli Gardens Division), Councillor Venetia Phillips (PNP, Papine Division) suggested that cameras could be used to help reduce urinating in public spaces, as the city managers did not have enough staff to enforce the law.

The mayor, who said he agreed with Phillips, then disclosed that the KSAMC had met with JamaicaEye to discuss the cost of the service. He said that the cameras could help the corporation enforce the law in regard to urinating in public spaces “because we can't be everywhere”.

Councillor Lee Clarke (JLP, Whitehall Division) while agreeing with the resolution to double the $2,000 fine for the infraction, pointed out that many businesses either did not have any toilets and urinals for their customers, or refuse to allow the public to use their facilities. He also noted that the KSAMC needed to upgrade and properly maintain its public sanitary facilities.

Councillor Eugene Kelly (PNP, Whitfield Town Division) did not agree that the fine should be doubled. He argued that with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes being so rampant in the society more urinals and sanitary conveniences were necessary.

“The number of public urinals are the same as in 1960. There are none along the Spanish Town Road,” he said.

However, the mayor said that even in places where there were sanitary conveniences they were not being used.

“I have observed the situation in the vicinity of the St William Grant Park. Although there are five working sanitary facilities at the park, the bus drivers and conductors refuse to use them as they feel that they can get away with their actions,” he said. “It is just plain indiscipline.”

Councillor Vernon McLeod (JLP, Havendale Division) suggested that the council seek funds from the Ministry of Local Government to build more urinals.

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