July 25, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Why didn’t we invest in top line CCTV equipment?

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Colin Wilson2webI am totally at a loss at discovering the CCTV equipment bought by the police is not top quality and of a standard that cannot produce evidence acceptable in court.

What is the purpose of a camera that doesn’t take pictures?

There is no purpose either in having a camera that takes pictures and no one can identify anyone in it.

Cayman’s Premier, Alden McLaughlin is reported as saying “the current CCTV system could be upgraded to help gather evidence needed to put away killers without placing eyewitnesses in danger”.

Following the West Bay police community meeting last Wednesday (28) the premier said he sympathized with the fears people have coming forward to give evidence to the police and he was considering to install higher-quality closed-circuit television cameras on the streets and more of them.

“We are going to have to invest more in developing independent means to obtain the evidence to support convictions,” premier McLaughlin said.

So why did we purchase the ones we’ve got?

Who advised the police or government officials on buying sub-standard ones?

“We have 1,000 CCTV monitors”, makes good PR, I suppose, with the sum of money given to us. 500 monitors don’t sound quite as good.

However, saying the 500 we have got are the highest quality and can actually identify the criminals is better PR than 1,000 that do not.

If the police want to kid the would be criminals they will be watched and recorded if they break into a premises then buy the dummy ones because they will be much cheaper and provide the same use as the ones we’ve got.

McLaughlin said the ones we have purchased are “extremely helpful” admitting, however, they do have “weaknesses”.

“Government has only so much money and our challenge is how we spend those funds. The issue has been identified by the police and we are looking at costs to see what we can do to improve the system we have now,” he said.

Police Commissioner, David Baines agreed with the premier the CCTV monitors we have are “helping” with their investigations without going into any detailed specifics. I suppose these cameras can show how many persons are involved even if they can’t identify who actually these persons are.

The government is now going to look at “upgrading” the equipment we have and admitted they were actually aware they were not buying the best.

I am speechless. If I have $100 to spend and the only camera I can buy will not be able to identify the person I am shooting it at, would I buy it?

Common sense answers that. You don’t have to be an expert.

Of course, this editorial is dismissive and therefore isn’t helping.

We must say nothing, shrug and say nothing. If that is the position, there is not much point in holding any police district meetings.

And then there is the question of allowing gangs of youths to wear hoods. It is not allowed in many districts in the UK. In Scotland three or more persons together wearing hoods, even in their cold weather, can be arrested if they don’t break up.

A person here in our very warm weather wearing a hood is almost certainly up to no good.

And no matter how much we invest in a high quality camera it is not going to identify him or her if they are wearing a hood.

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  1. What you said.
    I’m particularly surprised that no other news house has tried to ask ‘well, what good have the cameras been so far?’ (Though I admit I don’t read them all daily.)
    Insanity: doing the same thing (buying CCTV) and hoping for a different result (convictions).

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