Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 02, 2022 (SKNIS): Closed-circuit television (CCTV) Surveillance cameras are widely used in policing and now serve as critical crime fighting tools in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The CCTV System is used as a crime-fighting tool. As such, the Telecommunications Department of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force plays a critical role in the overall strategy of the police force to help keep St. Kitts and Nevis a safe place to live, work, play, and raise families,” said Julian Morrishaw, Acting Telecommunications Officer, on Leadership Matters on March 01. “It is an initiative that requires a large amount of investment to get off the ground, and continuous investment to keep it up and running properly. Because it was considered an important part of the strategy to maintain security, the Government of the Federation invested millions of dollars into the project already, and has received financial support from the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).”
Mr. Morrishaw outlined several significant benefits of CCTV cameras.
“Firstly, the CCTV cameras are an effective deterrent to potential criminals, as their use increases the risk of being identified through the camera footage. Thus, the cameras make it more difficult to commit an offense without being caught. It means, then, that intruders will likely move on,” he said. “Secondly, in the event that an offense is committed, the cameras can assist with identifying the offender so that they are brought to justice. The cameras are also equipped with night vision capabilities and can assist with tracking criminals.”
According to the acting telecommunications officer, phase one of the CCTV Project was rolled out in 2017 in the Basseterre, Frigate Bay and Conaree communities. Following an assessment of the various locations, the cameras were strategically placed. At present, phases two and three are currently ongoing. Phase two is being implemented on the eastern side of the island and phase three covers Nevis and is being implemented with the assistance of the Nevis Island Administration’s Technology Department. He added that phase one of the project was primarily supported wirelessly, but has since been upgraded to fiber optics which has enhanced the quality of the image received and has allowed for more advanced features to be activated.
Mr. Morrishaw noted that since the implementation of CCTV cameras, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has made it easier for people to secure their homes and businesses.
“Businesses and private homeowners have been able to purchase surveillance cameras for their homes under the duty free concessions programme introduced by the government. The use of both government and privately owned cameras have contributed to an increase in the crime detection rate. We have also seen a decrease in the number of house breakings that have been reported.”
The CCTV system is solely operated and maintained at Police Headquarters in Basseterre. Unless there is a technical issue with the cameras, they record 24 hours a day, said the acting telecommunications officer.