Cameras suggested for schools

Closed-circuit television cameras could become a common feature at public schools for students in the Cayman Islands.

Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin said at the Cabinet press briefing Friday that he attended a school security seminar conducted at the headquarters of General Electric’s security division in Boca Raton, Florida last week and heard about closed-circuit television in schools.

‘What we learned is the schools using CCTV have had a significant reduction of anti-social behaviour,’ he said.

‘It is something we will certainly consider, not just for now, but in the new schools.’

Mr. McLaughlin said CCTV could be used in classrooms, on school premises and even on school buses.

Attendance at the seminar, which was limited to about 30 people, was arranged by The Security Centre Ltd. in Cayman, the company that was hired to do the security assessment of the Government schools in the wake of a number of security issues that have arisen this year, Mr. McLaughlin said.

CCTV was not the only thing Mr. McLaughlin learned about that could help the security situation in Cayman’s schools; there’s also a device called a vapour tracer that interested him.

‘It’s a handheld device that detects traces of illicit drugs, traces of gunpowder or anything like that,’ he said, adding that such a device could be held near a school bag or school locker to detect contraband.

Mr. McLaughlin said the implementation of such devices could happen at Cayman’s schools.

‘We have to look both short term and long term,’ he said. ‘We have to address some of the issues now, but we also want to build the proper platform for the future.’

Mr. McLaughlin said attending the security seminar was worth it.

‘All an all, I think it was a very useful exercise in allowing us to know what’s going on in schools in other places,’ he said.