By Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter
An additional three hundred CCTV cameras will be installed in public spaces in Montego Bay, St. James, by year end under the Jamaica Eye project, as the Ministry of National Security seeks to strengthen the crime fighting efforts of the security forces in the Western City.
Emil Holgate, Project coordinator of Jamaica Eye, made the announcement as he made a presentation on the project at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s meeting on Wednesday.
Mr. Holgate, in making the announcement, indicated that the number of cameras installed could be increased based on demand for the expansion of the project.
“The main objective of Jamaica Eye is to improve public safety, enhance situational awareness, support emergency disaster response, to assist the authorities to respond to incidents and to assist in the process of maintaining law and order. So, it is effectively nurturing and utilizing technology to achieve the objectives as outlined,” Mr. Holgate explained.
He said one-hundred-and-six cameras were previously installed in the city with 66 percent or 70 of them operational at this time, with a monitoring centre already established in the city.
Mr. Holgate explained that crime mapping (system used by crime analysts to visualize, and analyze crime incident patterns) and data would be employed to determine where the additional cameras would be strategically located.
He further explained that the project would be implemented in three phases, citing that it was now in the second phase which includes the installation of cameras as well as monitoring centres.
Responding to queries about possible breaches of the system based on the inclusion of private cameras, Mr. Holgate indicated that the system was under constant review and monitoring to stave off efforts at hacking into the system.
Jamaica Eye, which was launched on March 14 this year, is aimed at networking CCTV cameras with the National Security Ministry as well as to accommodate feeds from privately owned cameras which will provide data on criminal activities as well as other emergencies.
Under the Jamaica Eye project, cameras have already been installed in St. James, Westmoreland, St. Ann, Manchester and Clarendon.