CCTV valuable tool in crime fight, officials insist

| 15/06/2016 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

Accident at the junction of Bobby Thompson & Smith Road

(CNS): With 273 cameras at 93 different locations across Grand Cayman, officials from the Department of Public Safety Communications have defended the “highly valued” national CCTV system, which the department manages, saying it has not only helped the police solve crime but it has made the community safer. After mounting public criticism on talk radio and social media, the department said that the footage it records has been “striking” in the “considerable amount of time” saved in police investigations because of the information it can provide.

CCTV systems are traditionally evaluated in terms of the impact they have on crime and the DPSC said in a release Wednesday that Cayman’s system has been instrumental in helping solve important and serious cases. But other benefits, such as the time it saves law enforcement, the help in effectively deploying officers and the increase public feelings of safety, have also justified the investment in the system.

As well as an increase in crime detection and evidence useful to the process of investigation and prosecution, the DPSC maintained that CCTV appears to result in a wide range of other benefits beyond an impact on crime.

“These ‘extra’ benefits are highly valued by those working alongside CCTV,” said the DPSC Director Julian Lewis, as he defendant the effectiveness of the system.

“There is also an economic value to these benefits. Nevertheless, regardless of its potential economic value, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the National CCTV Programme is a resource that is valued highly by the police, due to the significant contributions that it makes to their work in terms of crime detection,” the release stated.

Footage from the national CCTV system is often used in criminal cases to strengthen prosecutions, such as the images captured during a June 2012 bank robbery that directed police to the route of the suspects getaway, and evidence that has supported numerous cases in court, including serious crimes like murder.

Lewis and his team refuted allegations that have been made that the cameras are not effective and have not produced quality images. Between January 2015 and March 2016 the RCIPS has made requests and received images 413 times and even images taken at night have helped officers in their investigations to track down criminals.

That data helped investigators execute 160 arrests, or 38.75% of the arrests they made during the timeframe, and of all the current investigations, 119 (almost a quarter) are using CCTV footage, and nine cases have already reached court and resulted in the suspects being convicted and given custodial sentences.

Nighttime images were supplied by the DPSC from various camera locations.

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Category: Crime

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Government is incompetent and dishonest. The press empowers them.

    • sonia says:

      3:19 can you give an example? or you just wasting our time?

      • God is watching you says:

        The dump. That’s one example 5:19. Which the CIG like to calls a landfill, but everyone knows its just pile of $@#& literally.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you kidding? How about spending millions on 297 antiquated CCTVs, installed and “monitored” by inept cronies – cameras that don’t provide required resolution or nighttime capability, aren’t adequately monitored, and aren’t used to trigger officer dispatch, and then spinning it into a “highly valued” success story. For example.

    • Anonymous says:

      And we all believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy!

  2. Unison says:

    O wow 🙂

    It’s a wonderful tool indeed to stop insurrections, people protesting against the government, to watch people and identify faces 😉

    Oooops… did I say something wrong? :))

  3. Anonymous says:

    Simpler solution for evening video capture. Increase the lighting at the junctions with cameras. Install new high-powered LED street lights to allow the cameras to capture better footage. This also provides more assistance for drivers. Has to be less costly and provide more benefit than looking at replacing cameras.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can increase the lighting and it will help somewhat. however with the poor performance of these cameras it will have minimal affect. The light produced by the LED’s is better for colour recognition by the Camera. (will give a more true colour spectrum)

  4. anonymous says:

    7.29am comment said it all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I cannot recall any articles on legal proceedings citing that CCTV recordings provided significant evidence in securing conviction.This contradicts Julian Lewis’ grandiose claims.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If those cameras are so valuable, why are we still waiting for automated speed traps installed throughout the Island? Wouldn’t this also increase efficiency and make roads saver?

    Whoever has an outstanding speeding ticket can’t get their license renewed until the fine plus any further penalty accrued for non-payment has been settled. They should then be able to pull quarterly a report to see who has outstanding tickets and compare it against their sticker to see if they are driving around without the proper permission.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would assume a single driver per car, unless you propose to issue the ticket against the vehicle or registered owner, rather than the driver. There are ways to achieve what you are proposing, but it still requires the driver to be identified before a ticket can be issued. Speed is only a factor in around 10% of vehicle accidents, unfortunately camera’s on their own can’t ticket dangerous, inattentive or drunk driving.

      • Anonymous says:

        Most speed traps are capable of taking a pictures of the person who is behind the wheel and a copy of that picture is typically mailed to you…..that is at least the case in countries where 20th century cameras and technology is installed and applied.

        While I agree that speed is not always a factor, I think we all can agree that we need to start somewhere. People who happily ignore the speed limits are probably more likely to ignore everything else on the road as well……

        • Anonymous says:

          Yep, but my point was it’s not as simple as snapping a picture of a license plate and registering it with DVLC to be paid before a licence can be renewed. As you pointed out it requires identifying the driver, which requires work, and a bit of ask/answer and follow up. Things that generally Government departments aren’t adept at. The other thing it needs is a complete and up to date database at DVLC…see where I’m going with this one!! I like simple solutions, but speed cameras will only work on the law-abiding who a) truthfully answer the ‘who’ part b) don’t have dark tint c) are up to date with contact details etc.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please…even this image you are displaying is showing how poorly these cameras are functioning. From a professionals view.(over 30 Years in the CCTV business)..see the moving vehicles…they have extreme motion blur and are not traveling at a high rate of speed (this is because the shutter speed has been slowed to adjust for lighting). Look at the lights all are spiriting because a) the shutter speeds are slow and b) The cameras are of very low quality and cannot adjust for wide Dynamics required of this seen. If you need a license plate number…good luck. (heck even the green light which is dimmer than the headlights has trouble). They showed this picture because all the headlights are making the scene illuminated…I would like to see the cameras in lower light conditions (this corner has lots of light), From an amateurs point of view..perhaps these pictures look ok…but from a professionals view…this is complete amateur hour and either not understanding cameras (which I hope is the case) or deliberately pulling the wool over the governments and now the tax payers eyes. See behind the lights…total black..again lack of wide dynamics. Perhaps I should upload a good quality picture from a CCTV camera so they can see the difference. I have only discussed a little bit of what is wrong with the camera and there is plenty more…like why does Security Center have to download the camera footage directly from the pods after an incident etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      One more thing. How many people are in the scene. The closer subjects get the light lights the harder it is to identify. A good quality camera with proper settings would not have that issue. (aka Wide D / Back light comp.) I think that they actually need a consultant to properly vet this project to see if the government received the actual specs or if corners were cut. I could have provided better footage in the analog days…(mind you it would have cost more using high end Panasonic Cameras and polarized lenses). With today’s cameras there is no excuse.

    • anonymous says:

      Thank you. What a fiasco.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just another example of our talk show hosts falling into the trap of repeating rumours over and over.Austin and Woody these are not good traits and I encourage you to get the facts before engaging mouths

    When someone calls in and makes a claim try and verify before you repeat it.

    I used to listen to your shows but not anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why let fact interfere with a good story? Trump does the same and he is worryingly close to becoming president of the USA!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yet when Baines was in charge, all we heard about was the fact that the quality of the footage was so poor that it was useless in getting convictions in court.

    It is obvious from all the good news in the press lately that the people now in charge of RCIPS know what they are doing and are superior to Baines in leadership.

    Why are looking abroad for a new COP when we have the expertise right here to seriously fight crime?
    Is the FCO’s and Governor’s agenda that we have a certain amount of crime in Cayman to make us feel that we really need them and their hand picked cronies to protect us?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you truly believe the nonsense the department stated above you’re in for a long ride. Of course the department has to state that CCTV works regardless of the efficiency. Why? Its finance committee, and the department has to justify the outrageous amount of money spent on CCTV to ensure they continue to receive funding.

      Baines had no reason to lie about the lack of quality of the product as the results from court cases verify his statement.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is there CCTV on the streets of all the known drug houses?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe for the individuals that know where they are, they can post the general street addresses or the street name/intersections where the police should go. At least the police can’t say we are not helping!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why then do we not have speed cameras on those sections of roads notorious for drivers breaking the law

    • Anonymous says:

      and why isn’t it used to crack down on every Tom, Dick and Harry who drives around with illegal, man-made trailers without break lights and license……………I never seen so many “yard maintenance” companies in my life!

    • Anonymous says:

      What a waste, no speed cameras! Make the cops patrol to catch the speeders, don’t give them anymore reasons to be lazy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just speed cameras, either. Traffic light cameras would probably contribute more to public safety than speed cameras

  12. The Watcher says:

    Any CCTV footage available of who stole the cocaine and weed out of the secure lock up at GT Central Police Station or the motor bikes as they left the precinct?

    Any update on the CCTV footage from the armed robbery at Camana Bay when the robbers took off on a motor bike headed towards West Bay?

    Thanks in advance

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