The security forces should have more “eyes” to detect crime in Montego Bay, St James, with the addition of some 300 more closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) to be installed in public spaces in the western city by yearend.
The project is under the National Security Ministry’s JamaicaEye Initiative.
Project Coordinator, Emil Holgate, made the announcement at a meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the western city on Wednesday (September 19). He suggested there were more to come. “That does not mean that we will stop at 300, because we will have more phases as we go along,” he said.
He informed that 106 cameras have already been installed in Montego Bay, 70 of which are operational. According to Mr. Holgate, crime mapping and crime data will be used to determine the locations for the other cameras.
Mr. Holgate informed that JamaicaEye is in phase two, which, in addition to mounting CCTVs, involves “the installation of our support system, which is our fibre network, as well as the other critical areas, such as the monitoring centres, and so forth”.
He encouraged members of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce & Industry to partner on the initiative by signing up to share feed from their private CCTVs.
“It is voluntary… the Government is already installing cameras… but we are still asking for you to help us by donating those feed,” he urged.
JamaicaEye, which was launched on March 14, supports the Ministry’s situational prevention component of its five-pillar crime prevention and reduction strategy.
The feed from the cameras provide useful footage in relation to criminal activity and other emergencies and is being monitored by a group of highly trained Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldiers at Up Park Camp in St Andrew.
By Franklin McKnight