While Montego Bay, St James, currently has 70 functioning closed-circuit television (CCTV) security cameras under the JamaicaEye security system, project coordinator Emil Holgate says that another 300 are to be installed in the western city by the end of the year.
Holgate gave the update during his keynote address on JamaicaEye’s technical details at the monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.
“There are 70 cameras already installed and working in Montego Bay, and we are planning to install more cameras before December 28. With the data we have now, for this phase of installation, we’re looking to install 300 more cameras in Montego Bay alone,” he said.
“That does not mean we’ll stop at 300 cameras because we will have different phases [of installation] as we go along. We have to do our assessments continuously, so afterward, we’ll look at how the cameras are working, plus look at the coverage area.”
JamaicaEye was launched on March 14 as the latest crime-fighting initiative from the Ministry of National Security. It is designed to network CCTV camera feeds from both government and privately owned cameras islandwide to improve public security and emergency response.
Additional cameras in Montego Bay would provide a boost to crime-fighting efforts in St James, which has been under a state of public emergency since January 18. The enhanced security measure was implemented to address runaway murders in the parish, which registered a record 335 of the 1,616 committed in Jamaica last year.
Holgate said that plans are under way to create a central control system in Montego Bay for the JamaicaEye cameras; however, he did not specify when this would be done.
“We have cameras right across the island, all 14 parishes,” said Holgate. “It is for them to be connected to our central location in Kingston, and we’ll have one [control centre] here in Montego Bay.”
Over 100 private partners have joined the JamaicaEye network to date.