The Gleaner – July 25, 2006
Hawkeye Electronic Security Limited has signed a contract with the Government to provide closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance equipment for the ports of Kingston and Montego Bay.
Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce Minister, Phillip Paulwell, who made the announcement at a Hawkeye-organised CCTV seminar at Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston last week said that the technology to be provided was an upgrade of the CCTV system, which has been in place at the two ports for the last two years.
Hawkeye’s director of sales, Sean Clacken, said each port would be overhauled at a cost of US$500,000 to US$600,000. He noted that while the initial cost was high, the system would pay for itself in two years, as it required minimal maintenance and no additional infrastructure.
With digital CCTV technology connected to an Internet protocol, Mr. Claken said, security personnel would be able to remotely monitor the sites. “This means that you will be able to monitor a location from anywhere in the world, suffice there is Internet connection available,” he pointed out.
According to Mr. Clacken, the Government would save money from improving the system, as there would be no need to replay hours of tape to search for an incident. In fact, he said, personnel could locate footage by simply entering a date and time or applying a mouse pointer to a timeline on a monitor screen.
“If the incident time is not known, a search can be made by marking an area on the image and asking the system to search for activity in that area and a list of events will be offered for review. During all these operations, normal recording continues, uninterrupted,” he told JIS News.
The cameras will facilitate ’round-the-clock’ surveillance of the ports, Minister Paulwell said. The cameras “will cover the access gates, container stations, ships at port and perimeter areas around the port”.
“CCTV is a relatively new technology, but one that can play a significant role in the prevention and detection of crime. I believe therefore, that it is vital that we harness and make the best use of this technology,” the minister stated.
Provision of the system was “part of preparations to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s International Ship and Port Facility Code,” he said.
The Minister noted that, “while resources are limited, security must be seen as the most urgent sector and given the necessary financial and other resources, not only in the public sector, but also in the private sector”.
Minister Paulwell said recommendations have also been tabled for improved surveillance at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility. He said that cameras would be installed to monitor the “gate lodge as well as the main pedestrian walk-through gate”.