A bank of closed-circuit television security cameras.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -– Additional areas have been identified for the mounting of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras to ensure the safety and security of citizens, according to Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris.

“We are working to further build out our CCTV project. We have prioritized Nevis’ Command Centre, Old Road, Newtown Ground, St. Paul’s, Saddlers, Tabernacle, Molineaux, Phillip’s Village and Cayon for action in the New Year – keeping our promise to our people,” Dr. Harris said during his press conference.

“We will do all in our power to keep our people safe, but security starts with each individual, each institution, each community doing its part to keep safe [and] cooperating with the agents of law and order. When we see something, please let us say something,” Prime Minister Harris added.

CCTV is on its way to become the permanent fixture in St. Kitts and Nevis, reshaping the national security landscape.

In December 2016, His Excellency George Chiou, then-Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, presented EC $5 million for the Cities and Roadways Surveillance System CCTV Project – Phase One to Dr. Harris, who accepted on behalf of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The 345 CCTV cameras installed in Phase One of the Cities and Roadways Surveillance System CCTV Project play a key role in crime fighting due to their high evidentiary value and deterrent factor. Phase One covers Basseterre and its environs. The cameras are powered by VIVOTEK, the leading network surveillance solutions provider in Taiwan.

The Final Report on the CCTV Surveillance Project (Phase One), written by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty stated, “Gun-related crimes dropped from 33 in 2016 to 19 in 2017 or 42 percent, while at the end of June 2018, the number of incidents stood at 5 as compared with 10 for the corresponding period last year, a 50 percent decline.”

Additionally, the reported highlighted that monitoring of the cameras assists the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force in determining the truthfulness of alleged claims and in responding to incidents, such as fights and verbal confrontations, thus preventing their escalation.