In Summary
  • Major Kenyan cities should remain under surveillance 24/7 through a centralised surveillance centre connected to a web of hard-to-break camera system and manned by a highly trained team.

  • The team should review the camera feeds in real-time and in coordination with sleuth-eyed police on the beat, ready to swing into action on a moment’s notice.

The recent damning revelation that dozens of surveillance cameras in Nairobi are dead is a testament to a security system creaking at the corners. It is unconscionable how, the management of security of a city so prone to crime does not maintain such an essential and expensive security infrastructure.

Security installation is not an Egyptian pyramid that, once built, will endure for ages without much attention. Someone should always have his finger on the pulse of security infrastructure and have it repaired immediately it breaks. Furthermore, a backup plan should be in place and should kick into action immediately the primary system falters.

DATABASES

Major Kenyan cities should remain under surveillance 24/7 through a centralised surveillance centre connected to a web of hard-to-break camera system and manned by a highly trained team.

The team should review the camera feeds in real-time and in coordination with sleuth-eyed police on the beat, ready to swing into action on a moment’s notice.

But we should also not treat CCTV system as the capstone for security. CCTV system is only one of many tools in the security toolbox. Cameras are best at deterring crime. They are not a magic bullet for all security problems. In fact, no one security system is foolproof: studies have shown that cameras are more effective in reducing petty crimes.

Overreliance on the CCTV cameras could also promote a false sense of security and lead citizens to drop their guards. They could also enable reporting of more crimes than before, thus leading to a perceived increase in crime.

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