A number of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras will be installed at strategic locations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this year and linked to a monitoring site at the Central Police Station in Kingstown.
Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, said his government is in advanced conversation with Taiwan to place CCTV cameras at high traffic areas in SVG.
“We are gonna place them where people gather to ride the bus – bus stops, bus terminals and certain high traffic areas around St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he told a press conference on Monday.
“All of those cameras would be networkable to a central location at the Kingstown Police Station so they will be able to view the feeds of all those cameras at a central location.
“We begin this year with a pilot project. Maybe 20 to 40 cameras at some locations, and we intend to roll out, next year, a more complete nationwide network of those CCTV cameras.”
The minister said neither his government nor Taiwan has the capacity to put a CCTV camera on every pole in the country.
“And we are not asking the business community to abdicate their own responsibility to invest in their own security. But we think there is a partnership that we can forge between what we are trying to do and what we think they could productively do as well.
“And the Commissioner [of Police] has been very helpful in advising both the IT people and the Taiwanese government and the business community about what and where and how we should deploy CCTV in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Gonsalves said he, along with acting Commissioner of Police, Colin John, and the top brass of the constabulary met with hoteliers and business people along the south coast strip of St. Vincent to discuss matters relating to security.
“And we again suggested to them that it may be a good idea if they bought CCTV cameras,” Gonsalves said, noting the concession his government is offering businesses who import CCTV of a particular quality.
“They indicated quite honestly that they buy cameras but they [install them] over the register to make sure nobody is stealing something from the register and they’re pointing at the bar to make sure nobody is taking any liquor out of the bar…
“We indicated that we would attempt to provide spaces, for example, on electricity poles for them to mount these cameras and in other locations. And we are sharing with them, again, the specifications.
“We are encouraging the private sector to increase, as an investment in their own security, to invest in CCTV and we would appreciate it if they bought the types of cameras that would be networkable.”
The minister said the images produced by some CCTV at some businesses are so poor that it is difficult to make out the features of persons recorded on the surveillance footage.