The Commissioner of Police through the Ministry of National Security is evaluating different measures that can be implemented to have a safer Belize. They are in the preparation stage for the implementation of a pilot project that will see over 200 high definition and night vision capability cameras deployed across the city. The cameras will be donated by the Belize Telemedia Limited and the Embassy of Taiwan. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, stated that they will have greater control of the city through monitoring.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “We know that the public have been complaining, rightfully so, about the occurrences of crime in our country and while yes we continue to make strides in our efforts to combat the crime situation we believe that having the Safer City Project will enhance our abilities significantly and so I have had a number of meetings with BTL looking at getting the Safer City Project off the ground. We are currently constructing the camera command center which will be right behind the Raccoon Street Police Station and as soon as that building is constructed then we will fit the building with the necessary equipment and monitoring screens and then we should be able to pilot the program with twelve vehicle license plate readers and twelve facial recognition cameras. We anticipate that once the pilot is successful we will then go into full implementation by March of next year. The officers who will be used to monitor the cameras and operate the system are being trained by BTL currently and what we want is to ensure that the persons who will see this through are equipped.”
COMPOL also commented on the privacy issue that might arise once the initiative is launched.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Where people are begging us to put some in front of their place so I don’t think that will be an issue for us but let me say that if it is that you’re walking in public there is no privacy. The cameras are not being placed in people’s homes that we can monitor what they are doing in the privacy of their own homes. It is focused on the streets and we monitor only that which occurs on the street and once you are on the street then there is no privacy issue where that is concerned.”
The programmed will be expanded throughout the country in phases.