National CCTV system to get additional funding

- for February launch

Saturday, January 13, 2018

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SECURITY Minister Robert Montague says nearly $3 billion will be needed over the next two years for the full roll out of the national Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) System, dubbed JamaicaEye.

Minister Montague says the islandwide system is now in its initial phase and implementation is expected to take place next month as the ministry awaits Cabinet approval for the additional funding.

The minister's disclosure comes in light of the increased incidents of shooting and murders islandwide.

According to a release from the Ministry of National Security, JamaicaEye will allow citizens and business owners with cameras pointing in the public space to voluntarily provide their camera feed to a restricted team of vetted security professionals at two monitoring centres.

The initial launch of the programme will utilise the feeds of 200 cameras owned by the Government and an expected 300 through public-private partnership in the initial phase.

The video feeds will be passed through a suite of video analytics. Under the programme, citizens and businesses with CCTV systems will register via a website.

The JamaicaEye project is the brainchild of National Security Minister Robert Montague in keeping with the five-pillar crime reduction strategy he presented in 2016, the release said.

It was further developed and refined after numerous stakeholder consultations with public and private stakeholder groups in November last year, including the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and several stakeholders in Kingston and St Andrew.

Minister Montague, in an appeal for more public-private partnership to assist with the building out of the CCTV network says: “The ministry is going on an aggressive campaign to get private camera feeds as this will be a major step forward for the country. Jamaica is one of the few countries that has brought the use of private cameras to function in this capacity. This is how each Jamaican with a CCTV system can help in the fight against crime. We have to take this approach because otherwise the cost would be too expensive for the Government alone. To outfit Kingston alone would have cost the Government over one billion Jamaican dollars.”

The national CCTV system will monitor public spaces islandwide and assist the authorities in providing a suitable response in the event of an incident, disaster or act of criminality. Government-owned CCTV systems have already been installed in several major towns across the island.

Minister Montague noted that the camera systems in Montego Bay will be upgraded and additional cameras have been ordered to boost security in that part of the island.

The project, said the minsitry, supports the pillar of situational prevention, which looks at forward planning and the use of technology to reduce incidents of crime and their likely occurrence.

“The initiative follows on other recent initiatives driven by the Ministry of National Security through a development team comprising individuals from the ministry's departments and agencies and local universities. The team has also recently developed and launched apps for the Jamaica Constabulary Force. These include beat patrol monitoring using QR Code Scanning and the collation of JCF statistics via the Jampolstats app,” said the release.

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