Surveillance cameras effective in reducing street crimes

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CLOSE UP: (From left) Hii, Shafi e, Tiong and Ngieng amazed by the clear image captured by one of the surveillance cameras in town.

SIBU: A total of 54 surveillance cameras wil l be instal led at various strategic locations by the end of the year as Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) beefs up security in the town area.

SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said 12 surveillance c ame ras we real ready functioning.

“Over the next two months, we’ll put up 42 new units,” he said when launching the `Sibu Urban Surveillance System’ at police headquarters yesterday.

He said the counc i l , in collaboration with the police, had decided on the locations for the new units.

The fi rst of the existing 12 units was installed in 2008. All 12 were put up through sponsorships by the private sector, he said.

He said the cameras helped authorities keep crime hotspots under surveillance.

“All CCTVs would be linked to the police operation centre via broadband or fibre optics, and would be closely monitored by the cops.

“The system gives real-time images and recording. Recordings can be played back anytime. I believe this facility is a good deterrent in our combat against crimes,” he said.

The council is making the effort in line with the government’s six national key result areas (NKRAs).

“Since 2010, we have set up a Safe City Committee comprising SMC, police and other government departments.

“Working closely with the Federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government and the Ministry of Home Affairs, SMC has carried out many safe city initiatives,” he said, singling out the creation of a pedestrian-friendly city as one.

“This includes turning most streets into one-way traffic, creating ample space on both sides of the roads for pedestrians, and levelling most of the uneven five-foot ways for safe walking,” he explained.

The council has also cleared five-foot ways of obstacles such as goods displayed and motorcycles.

“We have also segregated pedestrians from motor vehicles by putting in place potted plants, barricades and bollards at suitable locations,” he pointed out.

Pedestrian safety was enhanced with many squeeze points and safety mirrors along main streets.

The second initiative was increasing the number of street lights in town and commercial areas to deter street crimes. The locations include Mahsuri Road, Pedada Commercial Centre, and the former Mist Garden.

“Thirdly, we have installed many metal bars along motorcycle parking bays to enable motorcyclists to lock or secure their vehicles.

“This will help prevent or deter motorcycle theft, which is still rampant in Sibu,” he said.

Calling on every one to play a part in crime prevention, Tiong said: “Crime prevention does not rely solely on enforcement authorities, urban design and surveillance tools.

“One of the best ways to take part in crime prevention is to become more alert and aware of what is going on around you,” he advised.

Disheartened by acts of vandalism in town such as damaging traffic lights and
theft of manhole covers, he said these two were the most irresponsible acts of vandalism the council had come across these few years.

Also present at the launch were the council’s deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng, secretary Hii Chang Kee, Sibu police chief ACP Shafie Ismail and Pansar Group and Emastech Sdn Bhd managing director Jason Tai.