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‘Big brother’ net widens
A network of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at busy businesses centres in the city is the latest anti-crime strategy to ensure that Port-of-Spain is safer. That was revealed by commander of the National Operations Centre (NOC) Garvin Heerah during a question-and-answer session, hosted by the NOC and the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA), at Knowsley Building, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Heerah said the coverage would be at particular areas including where stores and banks were most concentrated. “We would be ensuring through the multi-agency co-ordination group that there is a special concentration on the areas of Port-of-Spain, utilising the CCTV coverage that is presently providing that sort of security coverage for Port-of-Spain,” Heerah said.
He said the information then would be collated with the various law enforcement agencies to address concerns of DOMA and other stakeholders. “We will be working closer with the business fraternity so that there would be stepped up patrols and we will be including a rapid response capability coupled with an air surveillance capability. “We are utilising the CCTV coverage while ensuring there is a rapid response mobile patrol,” Heerah added. He said there was a similar plan for other areas, including San Fernando.The increased patrols, he said, already have started. DOMA’s president Gregory Aboud said the original call to use CCTV cameras came from that organisation about eight years ago. He said the cost of installing the cameras had greatly decreased since the taxes and duties were lifted by the People’s Partnership Government.
Duncan Street camera functional
On claims that the camera at the Duncan Street police post, Port-of-Spain, was not working head of the Rapid Response Unit Mervyn Richardson, who was also present, said they were fully functional. Last month 56-year-old Ralph “Dada” Peters was shot in the head and died while undergoing emergency treatment at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. His death took place less than 60 feet away from the Duncan Street police post. Peters’ relatives said they had been told by police officers at the post the CCTV camera which was facing Peters at the time of the shooting had stopped working.