Surveillance watch for T&T carnival
PORT-OF-SPAIN — Secret video cameras will be in place for surveillance at strategic points for next month’s Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a new initiative by city merchants to protect themselves from robberies and help to identify criminals.
The surveillance technology, with a touch of George Orwell’s 1984 novel on ‘big brother watching you”, is geared to monitor an estimated 60,000 people who pass through Port-of-Spain daily, according to the ‘Trinidad Express’.
After two years of lobbying efforts to introduce the recording video cameras, President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA), Gregory Aboud, said that official permission has been obtained, and the system would be in place from Carnival Monday, March 3.
The system will focus primarily on the downtown business areas of this capital city with the objective to curb robberies and other criminal activities about which the business community has been complaining.
Labelled “Model 7 Ultra-Speed Domes”, the recording cameras, manufactured by the Florida-based company, Sensoramic, will be mounted at undisclosed strategic locations.
The surveillance cameras have visibility capabilities that can pick up a car licence plate from a quarter of a mile away and provide digital images to help in identification of suspects in any crime incident within the range to be covered.
DOMA’s Aboud said that it would not be a round-the-clock surveillance system and data will only be checked when an incident occurred or the alarm is sounded. The recording cameras have the capacity to store footage for month.
CARICOM’s ‘birthday’ party
BRIDGETOWN — All arrangements are now in place for what is being promoted as “a birthday party” on Thursday night, February 13, to mark the official cultural launch in Trinidad and Tobago of the 30th anniversary of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).
Speaking by telephone from Port-of-Spain yesterday (Monday), Leonard Robertson, personal communications assistant to Secretary General Edwin Carrington, said that the “birthday party” would take place at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies.
It is a high point of planned year-long celebratory activities in member states of the Community, organised around the central theme, “Integration–The Key to Prosperity”.
Dances, songs and drama by performing artistes from at least seven of CARICOM’s 15 member countries, will provide entertainment for Thursday night’s cultural event.
Among the guests at the ‘birthday party’ that is expected to take on the atmosphere of a mini-Carifesta–the region’s premier cultural show that will be held later this year in Suriname–will be heads of government of CARICOM who will be in Port-of-Spain for their two-day 14th Inter-Sessional Meeting that begins on Friday, Valentine Day.
Community Secretary General Carrington, current CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Pierre Charles and the President of Suriname, Ronald Venetiaan, will be among others speaking during the performances for Thursday night’s launch of the Community’s 30th birthday anniversary celebration.
The Secretariat hopes that the launching event on the eve of the 14th Inter-Sessional Meeting of Community leaders, will “set the tone” for all the activities being organised to celebrate the inauguration of CARICOM 30 years ago in July 1973 at Chaguaramas in Trinidad and Tobago.