JamaicaEye to Utilise Network of CCTV Cameras in Crime-Fighting

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, addresses the launch of the national closed-circuit television (CCTV) system dubbed ‘JamaicaEye’ at the National Indoor Sports Complex in Kingston on March 14.

Story Highlights

  • A national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance programme, geared at improving public safety and disaster response, was launched by the National Security Ministry on Wednesday (March 14).
  • Speaking at the official launch at the National Indoor Sports Complex, Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, said that $181 million has already being spent on the initiative, which, he noted, aligns with the Ministry’s five-pillar crime-reduction strategy.
  • “Our aim is to secure 800 feeds right now and then expand. When something happens, we can query the system and find the answers. Where there are no private cameras, we will have to place public cameras. This private-public partnership is a platform for all of us to treat with our crime problem,” he said.

A national closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance programme, geared at improving public safety and disaster response, was launched by the National Security Ministry on Wednesday (March 14).

Dubbed ‘JamaicaEye’, the public-private partnership is designed to network CCTV cameras owned by the Ministry as well as accommodate feed from privately owned CCTV 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.

Speaking at the official launch at the National Indoor Sports Complex, Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague, said that $181 million has already being spent on the initiative, which, he noted, aligns with the Ministry’s five-pillar crime-reduction strategy.

He said the utilisation of technology will enable the nation’s security forces to cover more areas and better respond to crime.

“Our aim is to secure 800 feeds right now and then expand. When something happens, we can query the system and find the answers. Where there are no private cameras, we will have to place public cameras. This private-public partnership is a platform for all of us to treat with our crime problem,” he said.

Minister Montague pointed out that the Ministry has already installed cameras in public spaces in Kingston, Montego Bay, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, May Pen and Negril.

“Before now, they were never networked, never connected. We are going to have one central control centre and then we will be having five monitoring centres. The control centre is the nerve centre of this system,” he said.

Minister Montague informed that the team at the control centre has already been vetted at the highest level.

“Every activity in the control centre will be recorded and, therefore, can be audited. There is a rigorous audit regime, because we want to protect the integrity of JamaicaEye. The five monitoring centres… can observe but they cannot get into the system,” he pointed out.

The Minister urged all Jamaicans to partner with the Government in providing surveillance footage in public spaces.

“Our biggest partners are you, the members of the public, the business owners, private citizens, churches, neighbourhood watches, who have CCTV feeds and who are willing to let us have them,” he said.

In the meantime, he noted that negotiations are under way with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service to implement a limited waiver on import duties for CCTVs, “provided they place the feeds on the JamaicaEye system”.

Project Manager, JamaicaEye, Major Sheldon Bryan, informed that approximately 180 cameras have already been deployed across several parishes islandwide.

“We are not just laying cameras in an ad hoc manner… we are accessing crime, we are looking at the mobility of persons within the space, we are looking at murders, incidents, public safety issues as a whole, to ensure that we put the cameras where they need to be,” he said.

Persons wishing to participate in the JamaicaEye programme may visit www.jamaicaeye.gov.jm and register to be a part of the initiative.

JIS Social