#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – Tuesday May 1, 2018 – Closed Circuit Television is weeks away from turning on for live broadcast in the Turks and Caicos Islands with the main goal being to prevent crime.
“You will see them very clearly, they are going to mounted poles that exist already. We may have to put one or two extra poles on but we have gone through a whole exercise to make sure we cover the entire country. This is the first phase so people shouldn’t expect to see new cameras in Grand Turk yet, but they will be there, they are a part of the second phase. We are working very closely with those who already have cameras to make sure we can plug into them and see areas that might not be covered by the new cameras. By and large, we will cover every major route, every major junction and some hot spots that we want to keep a close eye on.”
In less than two months, the Turks and Caicos Islands will go live with CCTV cameras all across the island of Providenciales; the landmark announcement came today from Police Commissioner James Smith who explained that the legal and physical infrastructure are both ready.
“Significantly to come is the introduction of the national CCTV system,” announced Commissioner James Smith who led a Police Press Conference today at the headquarters in Providenciales; he added, “The timeline we have to go live for the CCTV is mid-June. We have recruited new staff, the office has been refurbished and I fully expect that we will be operational soon.”
With concerns mounting globally about how much is too much when it comes to these public video surveillance systems, there had to be the appropriate legislation in place to support any information gathered and used for the purpose of police investigations and court trials.
“We have been very busy in terms of working with the Office of the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and others on the introduction of significant new legislation in the country.”
“You will have seen up and down the highway major works going on, on the side, that is to enable the laying of the fibre optics that is to enable that CCTV project. Along with the 911 Service, this will be based in a refurbished facility on Leeward Highway. I am pleased to say the 911 Service is also upgraded with new technology and equipment.”
From having the ability to zoom, pivot and capture images even at night; the Commissioner with other senior ranking officers, to media, explained that the surveillance video will be crystal clear and ideal to support criminal and traffic cases at trial.
“It is important for our road users particularly, to know that we will be placing a focus on the safety of our road and the management of those who use the roads. And I can confirm that Road Traffic legislation changes will be introduced to do the following to make them ticketable offences: driving or using a motor vehicle using a cellular phone, person travelling on a motor cycle or driving any other motor vehicle should not wear a helmet with a tinted visor, using a motor vehicle with defective direction indicators ; we will be making it mandatory of drivers to have with them at all time, drivers license and certificate of insurance and I think most importantly, we will be introducing the power to arrest of drivers of motor vehicles without a valid certificate of insurance.”
The CCTV system will eventually branch out to other islands of the Turks and Caicos and will be housed with the 911 Service, and will use four specially recruited 911 staffers as “special constables” to work the 24-7 monitoring system.
“The technology is very clever and I should mention that in the CCTV control room, we have an inspector on 24-7 duty and supported by the 911 Supervisor, the 911 staff and dedicated CCTV monitor people so that we can quickly switch our eyes to an area of concern and we will be better able to direct vehicles and officers to incidents so it should make a significant change to the way we react to stuff, the way we can prevent stuff but it will assist us to provide evidence in court.”
Another special event linked to the CCTV is imminent said Commissioner Smith; it will include private sector stakeholders which have supported the national security system upgrade.