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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Taiwan Ambassadors Calvin Ho and Minister of Technology, Camillo Gonsalves are treated to a demonstration of the system.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Taiwan Ambassadors Calvin Ho and Minister of Technology, Camillo Gonsalves are treated to a demonstration of the system.

Crime fighting and public monitoring in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) went high-tech with the inauguration, on Tuesday, of the Taiwan-sponsored E-Bus and Security Operation Centre, located at the Questelles Police Station.

Commissioner of Police, Colin John, welcomed the development, saying, “I am very proud and today is a happy day for me.”

He said he now has “an important piece of tool in the police arsenal so that we can fight crime. We also have trained persons who can handle this piece of tool and who can assist in making St. Vincent and the Grenadines a safer place.”

The Intelligent Bus Management and Monitoring System Project, aims to assisting SVG in enhancing surveillance in public areas to ensure public safety through advanced technology.

The project also includes the installation, so far, of more than 100 full HD cameras in Kingstown and on the leeward side of St. Vincent and the intelligent video surveillance system.

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Before the end of this year, camera settings on the windward side of St. Vincent will be completed and will bring the number of cameras to 200.

The smart bus dynamic information system and smart bus stop with Taiwan’s latest e-paper technology will follow right after, Taiwan Ambassador to SVG, Calvin Ho told Tuesday’s event.

Meanwhile, John said there are several advantages to be derived from the initiative.

“The fact that cameras are placed at several locations throughout St. Vincen and soon will be in the Grenadines, that will help to deter would-be criminals from committing crimes.”

He said that the system was also monitoring mechanism for the police force.

“So we can divert our resources to quote-unquote hotspots or areas where activities are taking place, for instance at carnival times or time when there ere events of mass gatherings.

“The persons who are observing the cameras can observe what’s taking place from a particular room so we will be able to divert our resources to deal with situations where they arise,” John said.

The police chief said that the force will also be able to collect t cogent evidence.

He noted that Director of Public Prosecutions, Sejilla McDowall was at the event, adding that information collected by the surveillance system could be tendered as evidence in court.

“This will enhance our chances of gaining more convictions, enhance our chances of presenting better evidence to the court,” said John, a former Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions.

“This will also help in the decision making of the court so that with the cogent evidence, the tribunal would be able to make a better decision when deciding on a matter.”

He said that another advantage is the ability to record data and have it stored for future reference.

“This project is the latest in the collaborative effort between the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines [Police Force] and the Embassy of [the Republic of] China on Taiwan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” John said.

He said that other initiatives include the apprenticeship programmes, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Mobilisation, where persons are trained under the YES Programme.

“These persons were trained at the Police Band Room. To date, we have about 25 persons who have graduated and who have become full-fledged police officer. That’s a win-win situation between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of China on Taiwan,” the police chief said, adding that 30 persons are currently enrolled in the programme. 

He said that last year, the police force benefited from eight SUVs, donated by Taiwan, that are helping in crime fighting.

“Currently, there are two motorcycles at the Customs to be cleared. They were also donated by the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” he said, adding that Taiwan has also sponsored the police children’s Christmas party.

“We have also received valuable training from the Republic of China on Taiwan, both locally and internationally. Several of our senior officers have gone to the Republic of China on Taiwan for training an that has redounded to the benefit of the organisation and the benefit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” John said.

“So, I just want to say thanks to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for having the vision to chose the Republic of China on Taiwan as a partner. We have received practical benefit as a result of it and we, as the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force. We look forward for the continued cooperation between the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Government of China and Taiwan.

“As Commissioner of Police, I can assure you that this piece of tool can be effectively utilised so that we, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and the police, can make sure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a safer place as a result of this initiative,” he said.

And, Ambassador Ho he was proud to join with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to launch E-Bus and Security Operation centre.

“This centre is not only a symbol of high-tech cooperation between the Governments of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but also a new page in St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ ICT development.

“The project reflects Taiwan’s continuous efforts to assist our diplomatic allies on the economic and social development. Taiwan government promises to continue using our experiences to assist St. Vincent and the Grenadines on becoming a Smart City, E-government, and to improve the governmental services,” the envoy said.

He added:

“I am confident that this project will bring huge positive impacts and fruitful results, and look forward to further cooperation between our two nations.”

22 replies on “Taiwan takes SVG’s crime fighting, public monitoring high-tech”

  1. Dexter Rose says:

    I do welcome this surveillance system as a means of enhancing security across our nation. Great move.
    Now we need to improve our use of forensics in solving crime.

    1. Human Rights Advocate says:

      illegal espionage is NOT welcomed in this culture! and the minister of national security should know that citizens privacy should and must be protected (we all know that illegal espionage has been happening under these unholy alliances)…these communist practises will NEVER work in Western democracies and Cultures! all the years Taiwan has established diplomatic relations with SVG, only now? and why now? where are the fruits of scholarships for all these years? what happen to the fishing industry? the one in OWIA has become literally extinct! well as to health…These people always use the disguise of health diplomacy to do what? God alone knows.. the health machines in the state of the art hospital catching dust ….as a result our health system continues to be in decay! Our people need to have ties with foreign nations who genuinely care about humanity and their well being instead of exploiting and abusing us!

  2. With this type of monitoring systems all over the world one has to ask why did it take the Gonsalves regime so long? No doubt an election is on the way!

    More Carrot infront of donkeys for sure! But, what other use is there in mind? Big brother will now be watching you! For George Orwell in his “Novel 1984”, it is just yet another tool for repression, when the State in which you live is a repressive one!

  3. What is so special about the leeward side that has a single artery (road) and less of the population spread?

    The project also includes the installation, so far, of more than 100 full HD cameras in Kingstown and on the leeward side of St. Vincent and the intelligent video surveillance system.

    1. I am always hearing of what SVG is getting but I am never hearing about what SVG is giving. Can anyone help me here?

  4. Ricardo Francis says:

    Fundamentally, I disagree with this whole arrangement.

    I take personal privacy and security very seriously. This is highly intrusive.

    I am a great lover and believer in FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY.

    This is 1984 at its best. George Orwell must be rolling in his grave.

    I have reasons to believe that the Taiwanese have access to our private, individual and government information without our consent and authorization.

    Ralph and his gang of merry men and women are rogues, who believe in Freedom and privacy for themselves.

    There are serious, competing rights here. SVG does not have this type of crime to use this mass .surveillance.

    Where is the evidence to demonstrably justifiable beyond a reasonable doubt, the legal, political and constitutional justification of this invasion of our privacy.

    Will the Taiwanese have access to our data of mass surveillance?

    What will the NDP do in this case?

    Here is a video about Freedom and Democracy:

    What are the views and opinions of the NDP on this issue?

    I will never agree to mass surveillance. I have great respect and appreciation for individual rights.

    I am very fearless and courage.

    I shall not and shall never waiver and or surrender my believes now and or in the future.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waitin and in the Making

  5. Phil Dennie says:

    While its wonderful to have the assistance of a foreign Government that is technologicaly advanced lend us a helping hand in areas we are lacking.
    We must remain vigilant and maintain our objectivity iin our own governance when comes to outside influences.
    And our ability to remain objective…caution is greatly encouraged.
    I know we are smart enough to devise solutions to our own problems and as Vincentians we need to work together to control crimes root causes by identifying and eradicating crime at is core …trough direct. community ebgagements and involvement ..

  6. How can we give up Taiwan for China? Friday if you are listening to the sentiments of VincentIan please take note.

  7. C. ben-David says:

    The next step would be to place a surveillance camera in every home in SVG to prevent and prosecute domestic abuse including the heinous sexual abuse of children by other family members and visitors.

    Big Brother is watching you!

  8. SatanMostHigh says:

    No one your job n help poor people out poverty..sad a Island of 100;000 people you couldn’t uplift in 20 years..FAILURE…how can one. Nation fear 1 man lmao bare cowards in vincy..any other place in the world you done out of power…Spiritual war physical war physiological war bih we bout due time this nation will burn like hell

  9. The white collar crime is as serious as the blue. Fraud, bribery election fraud, undisclosed payments from foreign governments and concerns. Sexual assault allegations unheard in any court. The beating of citizens in the police stations and the central police barracks. Journlists and writers made to cower by government politicians affecting true freedom of spaech. Just as bad as guns, knives, and weapons.

  10. Nothing in life is free especially expensive gifts what’s the price the people of svg will have to pay later. Hummm.

  11. What!!!! The PM pulling out all the strokes for the upcoming election…. Anyways I must say progress, .If it helps to save 1 life it’s worth it.

  12. There are probably only 5 cameras on the entire leeward side and none pass layou. So it’s a little misleading. What are we giving Taiwan in return? I would like to know.

  13. I do not have a problem with street surveillance generally, but the first thing for us here in SVG to note about this camera system that is now being put in place here by Taiwan, on the behalf of the Gonsalves Government, is that it lacks Vincentian democratic approval.

    For sure, there is indeed a “gross democratic deficit” with this installation. It was never put before the Vincentian people for a democratic vote. Its receipt by the Gonsalves and thus its installation here, is but the decision of one man, the man “who would be King”!

    Such undemocratic power to act this way as this, is not even enjoyed by the President of the U.S.A, nor any head of state in the E.U, nor even by the queen of England, and that should indeed clearly give us Vincentians much reasons for concern. It further highlights how our democracy has been rudely hijacked by a family and the ULP. Such actions is however commonplace in Cuba, Venezuela, China and North Korea.

    In his novel 1984 George Orwell gives us a view of what a dystopian, Marxist, mass surveillance society would look like, with BIG BROTHER watching one’s every move and where even the “Thought Police” keep one in government declare order

    With its gross “undemocratic” installation, this surveillance system, now being put in place here, may well be the start of something which we may not like, keeping in mind the warnings from history and the facts from the existing Chinese state, worst in North Korea.

    Now here are some other questions for us! Would these cameras give us efficient Policing, give us more safety or are they the signs of the dystopia to come?

    Shall we listen to George Orwell? Will some people here be likely to be declared as enemies of the State as in China? Is this installation, the thin end of the wedge by the government? Are these Cameras a gift to a totalitarian State who will misuse them?

  14. Finally! Finally! This is a very important deal that Taiwan has offered SVG. I have been begging for this type of protection for SVG for many years. I am glad to see that SVG and Vincentians are in the process of protecting the inhabitants. The next step is for Taiwan to sell cameras to property owners and let the government place several in the farm lands, to protect farmers and their livelihoods.
    Farmers can now grow their crops and have control of their sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. This is an opportunity for Saboto to work with farmers, so they can buy the cameras to protect their properties. Alarms can be included so that farmers can see any action on their properties and inform other farmers and the police of all illegal action in the area.
    I am also glad to hear that vehicles were also given to the Government. They should be for the purpose of fighting crime. Don’t give them to inspectors or any individual police. Police on duty should be able to react to information immediately.
    The next move is to hook-up each station with the main computer, so they can also be informed. This is needed, so that photos can be transmitted, so that during an investigation there are enough evidence so that the right culprit can be apprehended.
    The police will not be able to use the old excuse: Did you see him/her do that? It would be right there on the video.
    Great move, but we need to do much more to protect folks and their properties.
    Don’t give Saboto no camera to place around his home. He can and need to buy more than one to protect his family. If he doesn’t I’ll have to ask his wife to trade him in.

  15. One more idea: I know of many fisher-folks who’ve lost engines and boats. These people can be organized to buy one or more cameras to place on the waterfront, so they can protect their boats and engines.
    Let me talk about Layou: There should and can be lights pointing towards the sea. Right in front the police station is an area that is very dark and thieves can come in very easily and move out with boats and engines. I am sure the same system can be applied throughout SVG.
    Like I said to one of Louis supporters who claimed he got a burial ground for Layou folks, “That is for the dead”. We need something for the living, so my friend get off your arse and start looking out for Layou.

  16. What is the big fuss over the Cameras. In every develop country you travel to you will CCTV cameras. Thief are very good tool in fighting crime, especially in highly populated areas. I feel my much safer when I go places that have cameras. By the way, a lot of private Citizens are putting up cameras on their property, sometimes when crimes are committed the police view footage on the cameras to help solved the crime.

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