JIS News

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  • The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) technology platform has been expanded to accommodate a greater number of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, which will enable officers to monitor more public spaces.
  • This follows the buildout of the Police Emergency Control Centre (PECC) backroom capacity to monitor up to 2,000 CCTV cameras, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has said.
  • “We have just completed the setting up of the backroom, which [comprises] the analytics and storage [components] required to ensure that we can take in the additional cameras,” the Minister informed.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) technology platform has been expanded to accommodate a greater number of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, which will enable officers to monitor more public spaces.

This follows the buildout of the Police Emergency Control Centre (PECC) backroom capacity to monitor up to 2,000 CCTV cameras, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has said.

“We have just completed the setting up of the backroom, which [comprises] the analytics and storage [components] required to ensure that we can take in the additional cameras,” the Minister informed.

He was speaking with journalists following Wednesday’s (March 18) tour of the PECC, the JCF’s primary surveillance unit, which is based at the Police Commissioner’s Office in Kingston.

The Minister was accompanied by newly appointed Minister without Portfolio in the National Security Ministry, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, and other officials.

Dr. Chang, who noted that upgraded operations at the PECC form part of the ‘JamaicaEye’ surveillance initiative, said some 560 CCTV cameras have been installed in the island’s main urban centres.

These include Kingston, St. Catherine, May Pen, Mandeville, Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay.

The Minister said additional cameras are slated to be installed in Savanna-la-Mar, Lucea and Falmouth during the 2020/21 fiscal year, and Port Maria, Port Antonio, and St. Thomas in 2021/22.

Dr. Chang indicated that Government expenditure on technology during 2019/20 totalled $1.2 billion, adding that “this year [2020/21], we are looking at another $1 billion.”

He further advised that come month end, the Ministry will be seeking to lobby stakeholder support to increase the number of CCTV cameras in operation.

“There are quite a few individuals [and organisations that] we are keen on getting in on the network… and we will [be looking to] work with them. It was not practical to do [so] before completing the setting up of the PECC’s backroom technology capacity,” he added.

Dr. Chang emphasised the importance of equipping the police with tools such as technology that will enhance their operational efficiency.

“The Police 119 Emergency Control Centre was essentially a telephone call-in centre. We have moved [to improve on that]. So, while you still have the call-in feature… you now have a monitoring centre, with surveillance activity of both traffic and personnel,” he outlined.

Dr. Chang emphasised that the work at the facility is “not complete”, adding that what was seen on Wednesday “is just the beginning of what we are going to do and an indication of where we want to take the police force”.

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