Police want TV cameras

Plans to install closed-circuit television cameras in the Cayman Islands were initially introduced as a way to deter and prevent crime.

But the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service may find additional uses for the devices.

‘In the main, it’s going to be crime reduction,’ said Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan. ‘But there will be some locations that will benefit from the use of modern technology. Clearly, a camera can be just as much used for monitoring a junction, or middle lane of a road somewhere.’

Mr. Kernohan admitted this week that statistics for 2006 on island roads were unacceptable, despite continuing efforts to educate drivers and increase police patrols.

There were 1,007 accidents reported in Cayman last year, close to a 60 per cent increase over 2005. Vehicle accidents claimed 14 lives in ’06.

The number of traffic offences also shot up about 81 per cent between 2005 and 2006. Nearly 3,500 speeding violations were recorded last year.

Mr. Kernohan said, if CCTV cameras could be used to help reduce wrecks, he would allow the department to do so.

‘I want to use everything available to the force…to bring down crime, as well as traffic collisions.’

Some CCTV technology already exists in the Cayman Islands, but Mr. Kernohan has said the installation of a bigger public system is still being reviewed.

He also noted RCIPS was looking at bringing in an expert to scope out where and how such a system would be used.

It’s not known how much a CCTV system would cost the Cayman Islands. Mr. Kernohan told the Chamber of Commerce in June that the price tag could be in the millions of dollars.