Senior Director of Modernisation Initiatives and Strategic Projects in the Ministry of National Security, Arvel Grant speaking at a meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston on Monday
JamaicaEye not ‘mass surveillance’, Gov’t seeking more private groups to come on board
Senior Director of Modernisation Initiatives and Strategic Projects in the Ministry of National Security Arvel Grant insists that the JamaicaEye project is not an attempt at mass surveillance by the government. He is encouraging more private groups to come on stream to sustain the thrust to restore public order across the island.
Grant was giving a presentation of the nationwide initiative at a monthly meeting of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew North on Monday, October 8, at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston.
“When we talk about JamaicaEye, a lot of persons default to the position of catching criminals, and that is a big part of it, but we should look at JamaicaEye as a platform to give awareness of what is happening in certain spaces and to help plan a response,” he argued.
Grant noted that as the ministry ramps up its sensitization drive for the JamaicaEye, already, over 400 closed circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance cameras have been installed by the Government across urban areas of Kingston, St Catherine, St James, St Ann, Manchester and Clarendon. He says that number is to increase to over 1,000 by the start of 2019.
Grant used the meeting to reiterate that the purpose of JamaicaEye is not to “watch the lives of ordinary citizens.” Rather, he said, it was an integrated platform to increase visibility at major intersections, plan and coordinate quick incident response, strategic operations of national security as well as restore and maintain public order.
JamaicaEye, monitored currently by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), now seeks a deeper partnership with privately owned groups to bolster its scope in public spaces, wherever the gap may arise.
The Ministry of National Security is appealing to business groups, homeowners, community associations among others to share their camera feed.
Interested individuals and groups wanting to register to share their CCTV camera feeds with the JamaicaEye initiative are encouraged to login to jamaicaeye.gov.jm.
By Gavin Riley