CCTV helps direct crime fight

| 03/10/2013

(CNS): Despite the recent surge in violent crime on Grand Cayman, government officials have said that the 300 cameras in about 85 different locations around the island have made a major difference in the ability of the RCIPS to apprehend suspects and put together stronger cases for court. Even though crimes are rarely committed in full view of the cameras, the national CCTV network is helping in many other ways. Since the system went live, the office manning the CCTV has handled 526 requests from police for evidence images or license plates. The screens are generally passively monitored but because the CCTV is linked to police stations and the 911 call centre, as soon as a crime is reported, the relevant cameras can be monitored in real time.

Brent Finster, head of the 911 emergency centre, told CNS that as soon as a crime is reported, his team can switch immediately to the cameras in that area and begin looking for any vehicles or suspects that have been described and can help direct the police investigation.

With a number of misconceptions in the community about the quality and use of the CCTV system and its role in the crime fight, Finster confirmed that the system is fully functioning and has less than a 5% error rate. However, the need for security limits how much can be divulged about the assistance the system is offering at the start of an investigation as well as corroborating evidence in cases that make it to the courts.

Jullian Lewis, who is directly responsible for the cameras and the team that monitors the screens at the emergency centre, described the system as “invaluable” for law enforcement. “It has done its job already in directing resources and we have collected some good stuff for the RCIP,” he said. Lewis also said the cost of the cameras compared very well to home security systems but was of exceptional high quality and built to withstand the elements.

Looking over road junctions at crime hotspots and places where public reassurance was needed, the CCTV system is helping in a number of different ways, those using it said.
Detective Superintendent Robert Scotland said that the cameras were of significant assistance to the RCIPS in various ways, from utilizing resources more effectively in the wake of a crime to the protection of police and suspects.

“It has given us the ability to identify evidential leads, coordinate our response and better deploy resources,” he said. “Officers are now trained to undertake stop and searches of any suspects in the view of cameras as this makes things safer for all concerned,” he said. This means that the interactions with people are recorded ensuring the officers involved do their searches by the book and make it far less likely that the suspects would attempt to resist or use any weapons in their possession.

CCTV footage has already been used in a number of high profile major cases to help secure convictions and the police and emergency centre team say that more is in the pipeline. The police have also found that they have been able to trace suspects from the scene of an incident to their hiding places, enabling them to apprehend dangerous suspects very quickly after a crime.

The centre is also a back-up for evidence, so the days of lost video footage, which has plagued the RCIPS in a number of courtroom embarrassments over the years, should be a thing of the past. Lewis said that once tape is identified by the RCIPS as evidence, the centre keeps and secures a copy of that tape as a master.

Wesley Howell from the Ministry of Home Affairs explainedthat the CCTV footage is being managed as if Cayman had a data protection law and in conjunction with the existing bill of rights so the footage recorded is only used for security purposes. The tape is kept for just 60 days and after that, if it has not been requested by police and tagged for evidence, the footage is purged. No one can use it to spy on neighbours or errant husbands, the officials stated.

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Category: Crime

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymously says:

    I had a dream last night that at 10:32 am today there will be big changes in Cayman and happy endings.

  2. Anonymously says:

    The CCTV cameras are an effective crime fightening tool.  I was extremely pleased to see how it was used in Notth Side robbery to identify the perps and the carjacking incident.

  3. 4Cayman says:

    So if the CCTVs work then why is it more crimes are occurring and the perps are not being caught? The helicopter yes is a plus for this country. However at what expense? People are unemployed, homeless, can't afford their utilities and the list goes on. I understand every time the helicopter goes up, it costs the people minimum $10k. Where is this money coming from? More taxes? Ppm I still do not see any relief at the pumps, in my light bill, water bill and so on. I just don't understand how we are better off today when we are locked away like prisoners in our homes and then we get robbed again by the utility companies? 

    On another note why is all the security for government buildings being given to the security centre? Doesn't the other companies got to eat too?

  4. Anonymous says:

    hogwash! 

  5. Anonymous says:

    how comforting!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bring in the finger printing system to join your Arsenal Of High Tech Toys to eliminate more criminals entering or islands! Concern citizen

  7. Anonymous says:

    When the CCTV system proves to prevent crime – No just prosecute repeat / new offenders; that is when it would have delivered value to the residents of our Islands

    So is the answer CCTV or much more severe penalties for those would create anarchy ?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why the system can not be directly monitored by Police. Specially just after a robbery or hit and run. With so many officers on duty and more to come, They can be rotate them around every 2 hours from the monitor to the cars and or to the roads to watch out for the People 24/7.  

    It may help catch some criminals after they hit ot even before. Some times one have to wonder why so many cars speeding like crazyyyy in the middle lanes, like on West Bay rd by the hotels there. Any one rushing on the road that way could be a criminal running away from the crime scene.

    Also many of them with very dark tinted windows and no one can see what's inside or who is and if they may have guns or whattt else###. Many times they approach other vehicles like they really mean some bad news. It can really scare the s### out of any one. Specially with one man on the run and a few getting away with murder, robberies and crimes.

    Cayman needs not only to hire more Police officers but to ensure the public that they are at work.Put them on the main road and watching more. If not to catch any one at least to scare some of them off.

    Good luck and hope we can have some peace of mind and tranquility again in our lovely Cayman Islands.

    May God bless Cayman and all decent and hard working people.

  9. Paris says:

    Boost up neighborhood watches and if anything is suspicious going on within your community report it to the police.  As citizens we have to work as a team with the police so that we can put these good for nothing criminals behind bars.  These cameras has very blurred vision and also you cannot make clear of the suspects because half of them prodominantely wears a mask. What they need to spend the money on is night vision binoculars and other high tech equiptment.

       Immigration need to boost up their system by running a thorough background check on all of these people that they are letting into our country. Instead of the government spending these funds to hire more cops what they need to really do is to get a high technology fingerprinting system inplaced.  They need to start arming the police inadequately and have them walking these streets, and patrolling it  in every district 24-7.  They have about 400 cops employed within the police department and what are they doing to protect the citizens?  Mr. Baines maybe you need me to come down there and do your job for you because, obviously your tatics is just not working.  

      One of the main reasons why some of the citizens do not want to help your police department by snitching on these criminals is because they lack alot of trust within your department because, your cops that you have hired from overseas to protect us all,  have no respect for the citizens or any kind of authority, when they talk down to them and make threaths. Apparantely, with that being said the first thing that you will have to do is reassured the publics trust once again and have your cops show some respect to the people by not overestimating their authority. Once you have reestablish or regain that trust then the people will have confidence in wanting to work as a team with your department to clean up this country by getting these criminals off the street.  I know alot about police work and I won't mind volunteering my services for six months without pay because I love my country that much and hate to see it go to shambles.  One love.

  10. Anonymous says:

    7:59 – Mr Haines and his disbanded DTF were not in control of our crime issues here. While crime was not as bad we had our share of unsolved murders and armed robberies. The low level gang culture was allowed to cultivate and grow into the cancer we have today. Let's. Clear that up. As for the CCTV this is more PR that the powers in charge XXXX have thrown out there is justify their obviously unsuccessful venture. You can pull all you want in the request but a true measure of effective crime combating is the lack of crime,not an increase of it. If the crime righting tools were effective than why are we living in fear of thugs? We are not buying this PR and the one prior to this one in order to justify more cameraseas we are not getting results XXXX

    • Anonymous PPM says:

      Another regional armchair  EXPERT and his hocus Pocus theories! Mann try hush up ya mouth like you were there on the streets.

  11. PC Plod says:

    Where is the evidence? Publish the footage!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Somebody has a sense of humour posting a story on how well CCTV is working immediately above the story on the daily armed robberies that are occurring without any apparent ability of the police to do anything.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Everything is working, but nothing is working.

  14. Anonymous says:

    cctv helps to fight crime ?

    Not in Frank Sound. It was not possible to look at the the recordings, when they broke into our place.

    But they did got the guy that messed up the sign from Ezzard.

    cctv is a waste, just a way to shift money to a security firm.

    • Hear Hear says:

      XXX I do not buy the BS that training operators to watch CCTV is out of budget….THAT should have been thought of when giving your buddy the money for $3million in cameras!  Train the police and train bonded upstadning volunteers if you need to….Dont say that cannot be monitored- poppycock.  (I will do a shift and so will my husband…no cell phones in monirotr room, one police supervisor- we see someting suspicious and they call 911- too simple!!!)

       

    • Anonymous says:

      They can do no wrong cause they are protected these cctvs dont work and security centre continues to make money off of the caymanian people…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, as a resident of Frank Sound Road in Northside, I totally agree with you.  If the cameras were so good, why are so many of us on Frank Sound Road getting burgled and the culprits escaping with  no fear of being caught?

  15. Anonymous says:

    While CCTV in other countries has proved to be invaluable in the prevention and detection of crimes, Cayman seems to be just the absolute opposite. With all these Armed Robberies that are happening in "public places" on a daily basis, I say "Where is the Beef" ?? 

  16. Anonymous says:

    If the system is workingas intended why does security center have to download the video footage from the poles everytime there is an incident.  Not to mention that due to this fact the video is available to a third party with possible other motives. A security breach is made everytime Security Center downloads the video to thier laptops.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yes the be all and end all of our crime solution i can clearly remember when this was being touted as the ulitmate solution to crime by those who are now benefitting tremendously from it. Then came the draconian laws then helicopter then came the bobbies and yardies from overseas then the cars and list goes on and on and on. Someone better try and get of hold of Mr Haines and try and get some real advice from him and his people because or experts and Trained specialist from the UK aint saying or doing S%#@  Why would they more crime More money more employment for them????? Tell you what all you naysayers out deh The DTF would have had this Bull@$#% wrapped up long time ago.

  18. Well Duh! says:

    The system bloody well SHOULD be making a difference given the huge ourlay on installation and operation!