Pilot CCTV project on Kenyan streets vandalised

June 28, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – Surveillance CCTV cameras installed in some of the city streets three years ago are out of order, after installations at the main control room were recently vandalised.

The Sh42 million control room equipment at the National Archives was burgled, rendering cameras on Ronald Ngala, Tom Mboya and Moi Avenue mere objects of attraction.

This has sent law enforcement agencies back to the drawing board because they were relying on the CCTV’s to monitor activities on the streets where the cameras have been installed.

“The cameras have been helping us a lot.  In fact, we will appreciate if they were to be installed in all the streets,” one junior police officer involved in daily patrols in town said.

“We have succeeded in preventing a lot of crimes because of these cameras.  It will be helpful if they are re-installed,” another officer said.

The Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) which partnered with the City Council of Nairobi in the project said lack of the CCTV cameras in the city is a recipe for insecurity in town.

“There is nobody thinking to have these cameras put back to their working condition, and the results will be disastrous.  It is a basic requirement for crime management in this era,” NCBDA Chairman Timothy Muriuki said.

“We rolled it out as a pilot project knowing it would help the police in the surveillance but now the cameras are no longer working because of the vandalism at the main station,” he added.

When reached for comment, Director of City Planning Tom Odongo and the Public Relations Officer Wilfred Marube referred us to the Director of ICT Benta Otieno who was said to be out of the country.

Mr Muriuki however, stressed the need to mobilise resources and revive the project in order to have all the city streets under surveillance to curb the increased rate of insecurity.

“That is the only way we can be able to achieve our goals, the business community ought to get that assurance. They need to be assured of their safety,” he said.

Mr Muriuki told Capital News the crime rate in the city had been cut down by a significant margin when the cameras were working but had now spiraled.

He believes police could have relied on the CCTV’s to get to know culprits in the grenade attack that left six people and wounded 104 others at Uhuru Park three weeks ago.

“It should not have taken the police this long to get to know who those attackers were, because if CCTV’s were installed all over the city, even the Uhuru Park attackers would be known by today,” Mr Muriuki said.

Police are holding five suspects who are being interrogated over the attack but have still placed a Sh500,000 reward for anyone offering information which will lead to the arrest of the planners or attackers.


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