The Ministry of National Security’s national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance programme dubbed ‘JamaicaEye’ is now being implemented in the parish of St. Elizabeth.
Senior Director of Major Technology Transformation in the Ministry, Arvel Grant, told JIS News that the expansion to St. Elizabeth is a part of the Government’s thrust to ensure that all parishes are integrated into the programme.
“The Ministry has been expanding the JamaicaEye programme to new areas. We previously installed cameras in Manchester, St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine, Westmoreland, Kingston and St. Andrew so now we are covering St. Elizabeth,” he said.
“We are currently establishing the final set-up in the major towns in the parish. Across Santa Cruz and Black River, we are looking at over 100 cameras being installed by the Government,” he informed, noting that assessment will be done for other areas of the parish.
Mr. Grant said that the “citizen component” of the project will be addressed after installation of the cameras is completed.
Under JamaicaEye, citizens who have security cameras facing public spaces can sign up to plug their feed into the Government’s system.
Mr. Grant told JIS News that for St. Elizabeth, “the [immediate] focus is the installation of the government-owned cameras first. We had engagements with community associations and the chamber of commerce, so there are persons who are installing cameras, but we are focused right now on completing the government installation to get that fully up and running, and then we will bring on the community groups from that area. We anticipate that we will complete the process from the government end within the next month”.
In the meantime, Mr. Grant said that the process continues to increase the number of cameras in hot spots across the country.
“We continue to do the assessment to expand in the Kingston and St. Andrew area as well; that is a nonstop process of doing that assessment. We are having those discussions with members of the police force and determining their priority areas to ensure that we have coverage in those places, so that is the next step,” he pointed out.
Launched in 2018, JamaicaEye is designed to network CCTVs owned by the Ministry as well as accommodate feed from privately owned cameras.
The feeds provide useful footage to assist the response of the police to criminal activity, accidents and other emergencies and are monitored by a team of security professionals.