CCTV surveillance programme gets private-sector support
The national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance programme, geared at improving public safety and security, is receiving strong support from members of the private sector who believe that the initiative will make an impact on crime in the country.
Dubbed 'JamaicaEye,' the public-private partnership, launched in March, is designed to network CCTV cameras owned by the Ministry of National Security as well as accommodate feed from privately owned cameras.
The feeds will provide useful footage in relation to criminal activity and other emergencies and will be monitored by a team of security professionals.
Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, said that the programme is valuable, not only because of the impact it will have on crime, but because it serves as a template to show the importance of participatory democracy.
Mitchell commended the Government for undertaking the programme.
"It is important that when we see a strategy or an action that is comprehensively effective and will make an impact, that we endorse it and give full praise to its originators and its implementers," he said.
Mitchell encouraged Jamaicans to support the initiative and join the fight against crime.
"We will be endorsing it to our members individually and we will be supporting (the ministry) and all involved in their promotion attempts," he pledged.
Brian Bennett Easy, general manager, Digicel Business, said that the initiative would assist with crime reduction and the restoration of public order.
"Technology is an enabler to propel proper governance and we believe that the JamaicaEye initiative is the appropriate action at the right time," he says.
He noted that perpetrators of crime have become more sophisticated in their operations, therefore, advanced technology, with the latest detection tools, will give the security apparatus a significant advantage.
Lieutenant Commander George Overton, group director, communication and quality control at Guardsman Group, noted that in addition to helping to detect and deter crime, the cameras would be effective in investigating accidents and other incidents.
He called for all Jamaicans to buy into the programme.
"I call on every citizen association, every industrial park and industrial complex, every commercial activity and almost every neighbourhood watch to commit at least two cameras to this programme across the island," Overton said.
Major Sheldon Bryan, project manager for JamaicaEye, said approximately 180 cameras have already been deployed across several parishes islandwide.
Bryan said that, since the launch of the initiative, persons have been signing up for the programme and "the uptake is positive".
- Citizens and businesses with CCTV systems may register their camera feeds with JamaicaEye via the website jamaicaeye.gov.jm.
- During the registration process, the Ministry of National Security will capture the relevant details to facilitate connection to the participants' surveillance cameras.
- Participants will be required to accept an indemnity clause and have their information vetted by the technical team, which will then establish connectivity. An email will be sent to the participant with a screen shot of the established feed to inform them that the feed is being monitored.
- Integrated private and public video feeds channelled into JamaicaEye will pass through a video analytic suite and be filtered through software that will allow for facial recognition, licence plate readings, geofencing and crowd counting, among other features.
- Government-owned CCTV systems have already been installed in several major towns across the island - Kingston, Montego Bay, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, May Pen and Negril.