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Jamaica’s National Security Ministry plans CCTV Network and Automated Traffic Ticketing System

By now, dear reader, you may be aware of the Boston Bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, close to the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the very rapid capture in less than a week of the 2 suspects Tamerland Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19. The reason for their rapid identification and seizure of the suspects: HD CCTV Network footage as well as civic minded citizens send in eyewitness footage filmed with smartphones.

The Bombings took place on Wednesday April 17th 2013. By Friday April 19th 2013, Tamerland Tsarnaev was killed in a police Shootout while trying to rob a convenience store near MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested while hiding out in a boat. He’s the unlucky one to be alive: he’ll be charged for killing three (3) persons and injuring some 150 to 170 persons in the dual bombing incidents.

Since then the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) has announced that it’s interested in having a Network of High Definition (HD) CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) Cameras to monitor the Jamaican citizenry a similar effort to prevent crime and also solve cases that much quicker. Apparently the Jamaican Police and the Ministry of National Security are impressed with the speed and rapidity with which the suspects were caught.

CCTV_Camera

This is a means of reducing the sudden spate of Robberies and Theft in the Island, even as Murder is down; they’ve decided that CCTV’s are worth the loss of Privacy. The idea of CCTV’s is not a new idea, as it’s been suggested before by Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Paula Fletcher in June of 2009 and April of 2012, but under the guise of an Automated Traffic Ticketing System in a bid to stop breaches of the Road and Traffic Act and thus reduce Road Fatalities.

Now word has come since Sunday April 21st 2013 that suggests that the Ministry of National Security has advance plans afoot to build such a Network of Cameras and to interconnect Private Cameras in business and stores to give the Police eyes everywhere. Basically it’s an upgrade of the NWA (National Works Agency) Traffic Monitoring Network to be able to record 24 hour surveillance footage and most likely to be manned by the CCN (Constabulary Communications Network).

The HD CCTV Network is to piggyback its traffic onto the 100MBps capable Fiber Optic Network being built by LIME and FLOW jointly to interconnect some 300 Schools in Jamaica with Internet Access as part of the E-Learning Phase I Project. This is being done with money from the UAFCL (Universal Access Fund Company Limited), effectively at no cost to the Jamaican Taxpayer, as the JA$10 billion UAFCL Fund is basically the Cess connected from the Telecom Providers.

Thus the CCTV Network can also power the Automated Traffic Ticket System to catch motorists breaking various aspects of the Road Traffic Act as it will have all the following necessary features in place after the upgrade:

  • Facial Recognition Database for islandwide Automated Electronic Traffic Ticketing
  • A LPT (License Plate Reader) to allowing Police to read License Plates
  • CCN NOC (Network Operating Center) to monitor the Live Video CCTV Network
  • Massive Server Storage Network provided by GovNet
  • Handheld ticketing units for Jamaican Police
  • An islandwide ban on the use of Mobile phone while driving

As the new CCTV Networks is live video, it’ll create great Test traffic to see if the Fiber Optic Network can stand up to the Traffic Load before it’s handed over to the Schools to provide them with 100MBps Wi-Fi Internet as part of E-Learning Phase II.

This is to support the gift of some 20,000 Tablets by the Ministry of Science Technology Energy and Mining to some thirty (30) underperforming Primary and High Schools in Jamaica, bristling with Tracking Security features to monitor and protect both students and to make Theft of the Tablets pointless. More on Tablets to children in another exciting Geezam article!

Thus both the NRSC and the Jamaican Police are now on the same page as the necessary legislative changes in the Criminal Offences Act, the Offences Against the Persons Act and the Charter on Rights and Freedoms or any other Acts to allow for electronic recordings i.e. still Photographs or Audio, be they Digital or Analog at the time of recording to be admissible in lieu of a fearful first Person witness will soon be made.

More interestingly, too is the fact that the way the who thing has played out in the Media, it makes it easier for the GOJ, as now they have virtually no opposition from Civil Society groups in Jamaica worried about a loss of privacy when CCTV Cameras in Stores are connected to the Police’s islandwide CCTV Network.

Worse, for motorists, the days of dodging Traffic Tickets may be over.

This as the new CCTV Network can be used to implement the Automated Traffic Ticketing System to ticket motorists breaking the various laws of the Road Traffic Act. The Jamaican Police can also use this info to spot vehicles that are either unlicensed, unregistered or on their Most Wanted List Now. In order to secure arrests. In these somber sobering times as can be seen from the reflective tone of my article, would be a great time to get a License Plate Flipper.

These changes effectively mean that we’ll soon become a lot some of our Caribbean neighbours such as Curacao or Barbados where they have an extensive CCTV Camera Network to protect the Tourists. Lower Crime rate and lower Road Traffic Fatalities among Jamaicans in the long term means more protection for Tourists and increased Tourism Revenue, an argument even the Civil Society Groups cannot deny.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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