Photo: Assistant Commissioner of Police Merclyn Hughes
180 Cameras in place, officers already trained in drone use
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Being able to monitor areas of interest and major activities from all angles continues to be a priority for the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF), which is increasingly incorporating technology into its operations in order to accomplish this.
These efforts fall under the Administrative, Research, Technology and Intelligence (ART-I) Directorate headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Merclyn Hughes. Where surveillance is concerned, Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley gave an update Aug. 24 at a press conference on some of the advancements made by the RSCNPF during the past six months.
“I am pleased to report that the ongoing work within the first phase of our [closed-circuit television] (CCTV) project is [more than] 60 percent complete, with approximately 180 cameras already in place in the following communities: Shadwell, Conaree, McKnight, Taylors and aspects of Newtown,” Queeley said.
To support this initiative, the police force is continuing its recruitment efforts for CCTV operators. According to the commissioner, “given the sensitivity and confidentiality that is required for working in such a department, all [applicants] must undergo an interview and extensive security vetting.”
Also, the RSCNPF recently acquired unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones. A number of police officers have been trained to use the drones and others are expected to undergo similar training as well. Commissioner Queeley said “…when operational, [the drones] will support search and rescue efforts especially in our mountainous terrain, ghauts and overgrown fields and will also be an asset in the monitoring of large crowds at major events, for example, the just concluded CPL or other upcoming major events.”