National Security Minister Robert Montague says nearly three billion Jamaican dollars is needed over the next two years for the full roll out of the national closed circuit television (CCTV) system dubbed ‘JamaicaEye’.
Minister Montague says the islandwide system is now in its initial phase and implementation is expected to take place next month as the ministry awaits Cabinet approval for the additional funds.
The minister’s disclosure comes in light of the increased incidents of shooting and murders islandwide.
JamaicaEye will allow citizens and business owners with cameras pointing in the public space to voluntarily provide their camera feed to a restricted team of vetted security professionals at two monitoring centres.
The initial launch of the programme will utilize the feeds of 200 cameras owned by the government and an expected 300 through public-private partnership in the initial phase.
The video feeds will be passed through a suite of video analytics.
Under the programme, citizens and businesses with CCTV systems will register via a website.
The JamaicaEye project is in keeping with the five pillar crime reduction strategy.
It was further developed and refined after numerous stakeholder consultations with public and private stakeholder groups in November last year, including the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and several stakeholders in Kingston and St Andrew.
Minister Montague in an appeal for more public-private partnership to assist with the building out of the CCTV network says "the ministry is going on an aggressive campaign to get private camera feeds as this will be a major step forward for the country”.
Jamaica is one of the few countries that has brought the use of private cameras to function in this capacity.
“This is how each Jamaican with a CCTV system can help in the fight against crime,” the ministry stated in a release to the press today.
“We have to take this approach because otherwise the cost would be too expensive for the government alone. To outfit Kingston alone would have cost the government over one billion Jamaican dollars."
The national CCTV system will monitor public spaces islandwide and assist the authorities in providing a suitable response in the event of an incident, disaster or act of criminality.