Sat | Jun 3, 2023

Hellshire gets security surveillance system to combat crime

Published:Monday | March 27, 2023 | 11:19 AM
The system has high resolution cameras equipped with licence plate detection, facial recognition as well as night vision features. - Ruddy Mathison photo.

A high-tech security surveillance system has been introduced in Hellshire, Portmore, St Catherine as community leaders seek to combat crime.

The $1.25 million system was launched on Saturday and will serve the communities of Seafort, Hellshire Park Estates, and Fort Hill Estates.

The ceremony also saw the communities launching their neighbourhood watch programmes as part of activities to fight crime.

The system has high resolution cameras equipped with licence plate detection, facial recognition as well as night vision features.

It has been strategically deployed in key areas.

Chairman of the All Hellshire Leadership Councill Delford Julal said that the installation of the surveillance system is the first phase of a four-phase plan to better secure the area.

Julal said the system was funded by contributions from residents, Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson, and the national neighbourhood watch programme.

He said residents want to play their part in helping the police combat crime in the area.

"With the combined efforts of like-minded citizens and community influencers, we intend to reverse this trend. We have taken it a step further with the introduction of phase one of this high-tech surveillance system," Julah said.

The Hellshire community has been experiencing an increase in shootings and robberies in recent times.

This prompted the St Catherine South police to declare a curfew in sections of the area two weeks ago.

Julah noted that the other three phases will provide coverage in vulnerable areas and they are expected to cost substantially more to install.

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Commissioner of Police Major General Anthony Anderson, who spoke at the launch of the neighbourhood watches, praised the residents for their efforts.

Chang pledged to offer support for their future endeavours while Anderson recognised the effort of a corporal of police who has earned accolades for his community involvement by making an on-the-spot announcement of a promotion to sergeant.

Earlier that day, Chang and Anderson, flanked by special operation teams, visited the sites where gunmen attacked security guards servicing ATMs in Portmore.

Chang said the visit was done to take a look at the locations to see what can be done to mitigate against further attacks and to reassure residents that the government takes their security seriously.

- Ruddy Mathison

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