CCTV is fighting crime

| 29/08/2013

(CNS): Despite concerns in the community that the island-wide CCTV project has been an expensive but ineffective crime fighting solution that is not functioning properly, both government officials and the RCIPS have defended the cameras and pointed to its growing importance in the battle against crime. Eric Bush, the chief officer in the home affairs ministry, said the National CCTV System is online and is being used properly. With 253 cameras at 78 locations across Grand Cayman, at noon yesterday all but three cameras, which are in need of repair, were working, equating to 98.82% being in service. So far, the RCIPS has made close to 500 requests for footage in crime cases from the centre where the information is stored.

“There have been 484 RCIPS requests for archived video images or reports from those that have occurred within the field of view of the cameras for which officers charged with investigating those accidents are grateful for the assistance,” Bush told CNS.  “This includes the latest fatal accident, which clearly captured the circumstances of the collision on the CCTV system. There has been video captured of numerous crimes in progress, such as robberies, and situations in which the system has aided in tracking the movement of suspects in vehicles and on foot following crimes, as well as many motor vehicle collisions,” he added.

The National CCTV programme has been designed to be passively monitored by the Public Safety Communications Centre and Electronic Monitoring Centre as well as the George Town, West Bay and Bodden Town Police Stations.

“If an incident occurs, such as a robbery or violent crime, the staff at any of the locations can select the appropriate cameras and either view in real time or do searches for suspects or witnesses,” Bush explained, as he defended the importance of the system to crime fighters.

“The National CCTV Programme is working well and is of high benefit to RCIPS and the public.  It is likely that as time goes on, more and more information will come out of future court cases regarding the benefit that CCTV has played in apprehending criminals.

“We have an additional 23 cameras at eight locations that have been funded and will be installed within the next couple of months,” Bush added. This includes moving cameras from the now-closed West Bay Road by Public Beach to the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension.

With such an extensive network now across Grand Cayman, the RCIPS confirmed thatit has been an exceptionally useful tool and was used during a recent trial to help secure a murder conviction.

"It is now a routine pPolice line of investigation,” a police spokesperson told CNS. “We have used CCTV in wide ranging offences, from public order, theft, damage, burglary to more serious crimes of firearms and murders. The recent murder conviction of Tareek Ricketts saw compelling evidence on the movement of his vehicle.”

While the police cannot be certain at this point of the number of convictions that have resulted with the assistance of CCTV, the video evidence can sometime assist the defence too.

To date, 23 members of the Department of Public Safety Communications and almost 100 members of RCIPS have been trained use the system. The police said that all of its critical incident managers are trained, along with all the sergeants and special constables on shifts and over 30 detectives from Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Drug and Serious Crime Task Force.

Bush explained that training not only includes how to operate the cameras and how the software and technology works but it also includes extensive discussion about the Cayman Islands CCTV Code of Practice, which is available to the public on the 911 website.

“Adherence to that Code of Practice ensures that the system is only used for the intended legal purposes,” he said

Officers can also request copies of video images that contain evidence and the staff at the Electronic Monitoring Centre make two copies – one for the officer and one for safekeeping. But from a data protection point of view, all video images, unless they have been formally requested and approved, are automatically purged after sixty days.

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  1. Rusty says:

    12.04 I agree fully with your statement. What is a bit disappointing is that there has been so many suspicion with this Cctv deal and surprising there have been no external review by anyone and considering there seems to be no real value for money to the country.

    on the point of crack head mothers having babies and their children turning to be drug pushers, muggers and so on. What about the educated mothers who go to work 7 days a week and don't even piss on their kids? Do you know who many households have live in nannies that care for the children and their families? I know personally of four families that have three nannies, I beg to ask this question who do you think are raising these kids?  Are the nannies now a replacement of a family unit? 

    This is where the problem lies whereby families aren't really families and the kids are what theyare turning out to be, real nuisances to society. Until we get back to families being put first, no matter how many helicopters, police and CCTVs, we will keep on producing trouble kids.

  2. what a strange world we live in says:

    THE  $1,200,000.00} JOKE!

  3. The Professor says:

    "CLOSED CIRCUIT" is probably correct!  If there are 253 cameras installed in 78 locations they are either placed in the wrong locations, or if they "are" strategically placed, then I suggest that these cameras are "CLOSED" circuit.

    Meaning they are INOPERATIVE!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    One thing that has concerned me is why Security Center must go up on the poles after every serious incident.  This is not the design or the intent of the system and needs to be investigated.  As a CCTV and network expert I believe that they are having serious bandwidth issues and are relying on edge storage for the most part with fractional storage onsite.  I do think that an independent source should do an audit of the system to insure it has been installed to specificationsand intent.  This should have been included with the bid requirements for such a large project

  5. Anonymous says:

    Obviously there are still people being well paid to “spin” the facts.
    We spent millions of dollars to purchase and install these cameras and millions more in recurring operation and maintenance for a camera system with such poor quality it is only an beneficial in traffic accidents at best.
    Value for money? You decide.
    London has so many cameras it has been call the world’s most watched city. Yet after spending astronomical amounts on the camera system, it has had no real benefit in reducing crime in London.
    Value for money? You decide.

    My opinion is these camera systems don’t deter or provide much assistance in solving crime, but rather what is provided for the money spent should be a crime because it’s a complete rip off. Would not be surprised if a crime was committed somewhere along the way in convincing the powers that be to invest in these.

  6. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    CCTV was instrumental in finding the people,and where they went with the goods when my place was burgled.


    • Anonymous says:

      Okie dokie there Mr. Spin Master.  Maybe you ought to provide more details and we'll take your little spin story a bit more seriously. 

    • SSM345 says:

      The 1st and only success story thus far, don't think I would count that as value for money in terms of benefiting the country as a whole.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Well even if they get them to court, the evidence is so poor that many cases are thrown out. The whole system needs to be overhauled.  

    #1 get rid of all illterate police and replace with educated, intelligent people.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    Policing and cameras are band-aides that cover a deep cultural wound. This applies to the entire world, not just Cayman.


    Many criminals start life with two strikes against them at birth due to irresponsible mothers who do not want the baby in the first place and who continue to abuse drugs, both legal and illegal, during the pregnancy. Poor diet makes the problem even worse.


    The sad result is a bunch of kids, male and female, who grow up without a full set of functioning brain cells and without a caring, nurturing home life. The boys grow up angry and resentful and choose crime because they are unemployable. The girls look for love and security by becoming pregnant. Thus the cycle continues.


    How to break the cycle? Listen to the young lady who is pleading for explicit, age appropriate sex and relationship education in the schools. Only knowledge will break the cycle.


    There are no short term fixes. Start now and you will see a drop in the per-captia crime rate in eighteen to twenty-five years.

  9. Jacky Boatside From Oldbush says:

    Bemused and confused try hush you exposing dey bizzness strategy to make more money to sell the update version of dey cameras mo money mo money mo $$$$

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    They need to connect those camers onto the fiber network that Lime, Telecayman, WestTel and Logic is carring out in West Bay Rd and GT. Can't say when they be up East area but it is a good start for a reliable connection in GT/WB Rd.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    You can't blame just Mr. bush. manderson and the past Governemt approved the funds, My problem is that friends (the security company) who installed the cameras made millions and still make hundreds of thousands selling and servicing this equipment that appears not to be manned 24/7. I think they do make a difference when police look back at footage to trace people or vehicles. Don't forget before the cameras we were complaining the police were not everywhere, and they can't be, note can the cameras, unless you want to live in a police state. I'm fine with that as I have nothing to hide but my expired car (2days).

    this is my feeling on the cameras, but this is not the reason someone is breaking into a house, robbing someone, shooting someone, this is our society today, thismis our youth, these people are our fellow caymanians, we as parents have done a SH…. Job. Yes and I am one of them, my son is in prison and you know what he deserves to be there. He's not innocent like most of you mothers, fathers, bothers, sisters and grand parents seem to think your kids are.

    today's society is all about greed and dishonesty all the way from our politians,bankers and criminals. Lets look in the courts last week 5 rarest and or sexual harassment cases ( I truly believe this is probably caymans biggest problem and has been going on for years, just back in the day no one would report it). 

    I am not sure what we can do to change these time and young people, but something needs to be done, maybe the parents and relatives need to turn in their kids. I know now when my son gets out, if he commits another crime and I am aware of it, I will turn him in otherwise I am art of the problem, turning this island into a criminal state and living in fear. 

    To the victims of the home invasion earlier this week, I am sorry to hear this has happened to you, to the family members that know theirs sons may have payed a role in this, turn your youth in… 

  13. Anonymous says:

    So cameras are working? What about little inexpensive sub Stations? They would be far more useful. Just put them in the right places ,or at least in the worst areas and they would run the gangs away or at least help to break them up. We have many areas here that need improving and this might be the only way.

  14. John Q. Public says:

    Nice PR spin but the public is not feeling any improvement.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder who are the owners of the company with the contract to provide the CCTV system? In fact an FOI question should be submitted regarding the contract from its inception. The public would be outraged if the truth is known.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a question that needs an answer!

        I seem to recall that when the first traffic lights were installed, the minister involved was said to have a financial interest in the supplier! True or not, it shows the danger of ministers profiting from their position, here we are with a sub standard system, and maybe some politician benefitted from supplying the sub standard goods? This sort of thing has become endemic, and it starts at the top, roll on the court case in April!

    • Anonymous says:

      BS if they were working we would be able to solve alot more crimes than is being done….everytime you need to view the videos there is always an excuse they aren't working…of course Bush will say cctv are great…..who do you think is friends with the company that has them installed…a waste of our hard earned monies!!!!!  Different government same tactics…..

  15. Confused&Bemused says:

    They have asked for footage, but because the cameras are such poor quality very little of it gets used… or so I have heard.

    • Anonymous says:

      “….so I have heard ” means it is rumors just like bored kids who spread rumours for fun

  16. Grandfather Troll says:

    It does seem that there should be more arrests coming from the cctv tapes…..  many more!I also don't understand why the tapes showing robberies, etc aren't aired.  The Kops ask the public for help in identifying the bad guys, but how many times have the video pics been aired?  Could it be that a lot of the bad guys are friends and relatives?  If not, why aren't they aired?

    A question for CNS:  How many actual arrests have been made from evidence from cctv cams?

    • Anonymous says:

      And convictions? That would be a good question for Mr. Eric Bush to supply. After all, these cameras have been benificial….

  17. Rusty says:

    You mean the expensive CCTV net ware is not manned by a person 24/7? Then why install them? I was under the impression from Bostock and Bush in the initial start up and costing of the project it would be a similar set up as in the UK.  What a pile of rubbish!!!! You mean to say a couple of guys can complete a home invasion, steal thousands of dollars and catch the morning flight before one of your 23 trained members come out and view the footage? Man the Cayman Islands government got ripped off! 

  18. Bubba Gump says:

    This whole camera scam has been a fiasco from the begining with conflicts of interest so blatant and so obvious you could park a bus in front of it and it would still be visible. As far as fighting crime is concern looking at crime and doing something about it two different issues. They have done one thing push criminals out to the less camera intensive areas. good for some  areas bad for other areas. 10:48 sounds like you have and agenda but until this is carefully thought out by "government" and the nececessary mechanisms and laws put in place for this epecially when it comes to management and privacy concerns we should leave that to the police for now. The suggestion i am hearing is a private entity to run and control this which i hope is not the case. But i would not be suprise knowing the current political atmosphere and players involved.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The cameras maybe working when asked but it does not seem they are working all the time. Or they are working and are ineffective. The doubble talk of how they aid in conviction s but can’t give roigh numbers has proven how poor they are as there are rarely convictions on crimes due to poor evidence being prosuced by investigation hence proving the cameras are not good value for money or you would hear BUSH and Bostock pointing to x y and Z to give credibility to this expensive program and further crime would drop as criminals would be caught red handed and off the street until they jump a fence at HM Prison while another CCTV IS OUT OF SERVICE OR NOT BEIMG VIEWED OR THE RECORDING WAS NOT WORKING. HERE is a novel idea, stop the babaling and start doing real police work and npt depend on gagets amd housewifes all the time to keep an eye on things and dothe leg work and patrolling for the Policemen. The COP proved that being on the street can apprehend and atop crime. But I tnk that was just an accidents.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Now can we also please install automated speed traps which take pictures of the license plate and driver of the vehicle? I think this would be a nice revenue maker for Government!

    • SSM345 says:

      Govt would make 10k a day just from the morning traffic through South Sound if cameras were iinstalled.

      I remember growing up down here that there were police cars hidden along South Sound every day of the week, in multiple locations throughout the day and there was no way you could speed without getting pulled over. I suspect the lack of policing is due to those officers leaving the force i.e. Manny.

      Now, people overtake you doing 45, 50, 60mph when you are obeying the limit of 30 and there are no police cars in sight. It is only a matter of time before one of these morons does the inevitable and kills someone because they think they are above the law.


      • Anonymous says:

        Speed don’t kill people it is people who don’t know how to drive at high speed for that road conditions and use bloody phone!

      • Steven "Nico" Segal says:

        Speak for yourself buddy, I am Above the Law! Also Hard to Kill. 😛