Forge CCTV ties with cable companies
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Government has been toying with the idea of using of CCTV in public spaces as a tool for crime prevention and detection. CCTV is remarkable as a support for the police force which is undermanned and cannot patrol every street everywhere at every time.
Despite improvement in the technology that makes the equipment more effective and less costly, the reality is that it will cost the Government a significant amount of money to implement the high-quality CCTV systems required in major towns.
A possible solution to this dilemma is to get the support of the cable TV providers in Jamaica. FLOW, Digicel and other providers have a vast cable network throughout the country. The infrastructure is quite robust and well established.
As part of their social responsibility, I want to believe that these companies would grant access to the Jamaica Constabulary Force or the Ministry of National Security to utilise their cable network for the installation of the national CCTV system. I believe this would be of great benefit to the country and the companies, which suffer great loss at the hands of unscrupulous scrap metal traders.
As it relates to the actual CCTV equipment (cameras, monitors, etc), the Government could explore utilising the significant amount of cash held by the Universal Service Fund. The fund receives its revenue from telephone calls terminating in Jamaica. The fund is used to develop and deploy information and communication technology in Jamaica.
The development and implementation of CCTV network in Jamaica fits ideally in its mandate, similar to how the fund is used to finance Wi-Fi in public spaces. With the growth in the diaspora and the telephone industry, I am almost sure that the fund has at least maintained or exceeded this level of cash balance. The USF continues to finance some excellent information and communication projects. The islandwide CCTV network can be another excellent project!