CCTV credited for crime reduction in St Kitts
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Officials say Phase One of the Taiwanese-funded closed-circuit television (CCTV) has contributed to not only a reduction in criminal activity in and around the capital but has helped law enforcement solve crimes in areas where cameras have been placed.
A total of 345 cameras, covering Basseterre and its environs, were installed in Phase One of the Cities and Roadways Surveillance System CCTV Project, which came on stream last year.
A final report on the first phase of the project, according to a statement issued by the government on Wednesday, found that the cameras have played a key role in crime fighting “due to their high evidentiary value and deterrent factor”.
“A number of serious crimes including robberies, break-ins, and larcenies have been solved directly as a result of video footage produced by these cameras,” stated the report, written by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty and prepared with input from the Telecommunications Department and the Violent Crimes Unit of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
“Images produced by these cameras have provided useful information in a number of shooting incidents.”
The report attributed the decrease in serious crimes to the EC$5.25 million project, noting that, “there has been a significant reduction in the commission of serious crimes (homicides and non-fatal shootings) in areas where the cameras are installed, thus underscoring the project’s proactive and deterrent value to crime fighting.”
It added that gun-related crimes dropped from 33 in 2016 to 19 in 2017 – a decrease of 42 per cent; while at the end of June this year, the number of incidents stood at five as compared with 10 for the corresponding period last year.
This represents a decrease of 50 per cent.
The report said continuous monitoring of the cameras assists the police in determining the truth of allegations and in responding to incidents, such as fights and verbal confrontations, thus preventing their escalation.