Police release videos of success stories for installed CCTVs as first phase nears completion

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Police is set to release a series of videos recorded by the newly installed CCTV cameras as one of the ways to showcase their success stories to the public.

Following the brutal murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, together with his bodyguard and driver by unknown assailants in Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb in March 2017, President Museveni ordered for installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras along major highways, towns and cities all over the country to help curb crime.

The installation works started last year.

According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, the force is going to release a series of videos to show the public that installation of the CCTV cameras was a success.

“Some of the videos we are to upload will show the effect of their installation on crime and disorder. This will further help improve the understanding of how CCTV cameras can be used to contrast crime and disorder within public places,”Enanga said.

He said that the videos to be released by police will showcase scenes of accidents, petty crimes like pick pocketing and public disorder, all captured by the newly installed CCTV cameras .

“The CCTV cameras have helped us gather information , patrolling , directing investigations, tackling anti-social and criminal behavior .The recordings show the entire incidents from the beginning when offenders started committing crimes to the end.”

A one minute video captured by a private CCTV camera mounted on a school in Kakeeka, Lubaga division showed two men who pretended to be passengers on a boda boda ask the rider to stop after reaching their destination but in the process, they strangled him before repeatedly hitting him on the head with a huge stone killing him instantly.

The thugs later took off with the motorcycle.

The police mouthpiece said such incidents show that a big number of people have heeded to their call of installing CCTV cameras to their private property including shopping malls, banks, schools and entertainment places.

“We are very happy to note that CCTVs are becoming a very common feature of public life,”Enanga said.

First phase nears completion

Police recently announced that a total of 5,552 CCTV cameras would to be installed in various places around the country with the Kampala Metropolitan districts of Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono taking a lion’s share with 3233 cameras on 1248 sites.

\The police publicist revealed that the works in Kampala Metropolitan area now stand at 68% with 2547 out of the 3233 cameras have so far been installed on 1038 sites noting that soon, the first phase will be completed.

“Cameras which are online are 1565 out of 3233 (48.4%), whereas trenching is at 1083km out of 1258km (86%),”Enanga said.

He added that of the 18 divisions in the KMP area, 11 of them have been installed with online monitoring rooms whereas construction of the national monitoring centre is at 40%

There have been concerns from various members of the public in regards the role of CCTV cameras with many complaining that despite the installations, criminality has continued.

The police spokesperson however explained that CCTV cameras alone cannot fight criminality but noted their work is enhanced alongside other complementary measures.

“Other complementary measures like police patrols, community vigilance and environmental designs like proper lighting help raise CCTV cameras’ credibility as a threat to offenders.”

Types

– Fixed cameras

– Pan Tilt Zoom(PTZ) cameras that rotates and views 360 degrees. It can also be set to rotate at a certain required interval.

Features

– Automatic number plate recognition for reading number plates including those for motorcycles. Traffic offenders can also be tracked using these cameras.

– Facial recognition feature. Helps notify the command centre in case a person blacklisted and his photo is stored in the system is captured by the CCTV cameras.

– Night vision which can be able to capture objects including number plates at night even in absence of light.

– Global Positioning System (GPS) that tracks any call made to the command centre to find out the exact location of the caller.

– Automatic cleaning system that cleans the lenses of any dirt including dust.

How they operate

The cameras according to police are monitored according to the nearby police division in charge of the specific area where the CCTV is mounted.

The PTZ cameras can also be used to record and relay images and videos from inside motor vehicles plus their occupants in case of any suspicion.

The automatic number plate recognition feature comes in handy for traffic offenders that the system notifies the command centre in case the vehicle is sighted and action is taken.

The command centre is manned by a number of police officers who monitor the various cameras on a number of screens.

In case of incident, these notify the commanders responsible for swift deployment.

A new national command centre is being  constructed at Naguru and the CCTV camera network will work hand in hand with the finger print and DNA systems yet to be put in place.

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