By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK From next year, Windhoek could be dotted with CCTV (closed circuit TV) cameras watching and recording every move of would-be lawbreakers around the city centre and other strategic locations. Police Chief Abraham Kanime has disclosed the City Police are starting a project next year to place surveillance cameras at points all around Windhoek to monitor criminal activity. Speaking during a recent interview, Kanime said the project would be a very costly undertaking. “The City of Windhoek alone will not be able to afford to undertake the project, and I therefore call on all stakeholders including the business community and residents to assist in implementing this very important project,” he appealed. The municipality and the City Police are currently in the process of carrying out an evaluation of the project to assess the needs and costs involved. He says that as soon as the evaluation process is complete, they will approach residents to contribute in whatever way they can. Kanime said they would place the CCTV cameras in all areas affected by what he called “preventable crimes”, including the CBD and shopping centres around Windhoek. The areas covered will however in the end be determined by the question of affordability, he cautioned. The design of the system will allow for the community in a particular area to fund their own cameras, which they can then connect to the main system monitored by the City Police. The CCTV system will also address many of the traffic problems that are an increasing headache for residents and which the City Police constantly have to deal with. The cameras will be able to catch taxis that violate traffic regulations such as stopping on red lines, causing obstructions, parking at danger points or inconsiderate driving. The cameras will also assist the police in catching crooks defrauding people at ATMs. According to Kanime, the banks position the cameras they operate badly, and the footage is in most cases so poor it is impossible to secure a conviction. The CCTV system the city is considering is however a state-of-the-art system similar to the one used in the Johannesburg and Pretoria CBDs. Kanime himself visited Johannesburg and Pretoria in August to familiarise himself with the CCTV systems used by the two mega-municipalities.
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