Capital FM (Nairobi)

24 July 2014

Kenya: KARA to Educate Public On Security Surveillance Project

Nairobi — The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) in collaboration with Safaricom is rolling out a sensitisation programme on the government's Integrated Public Safety Communication and Surveillance System.

Through an initiative dubbed Usalama Mitaani, the alliance says the programme will enhance public knowledge on the project which it says if implemented will largely boost the security situation in the country.

The Sh14.9 billion project is set to be initially rolled out by Safaricom in Nairobi and Mombasa counties.

KARA Chairman Richard Nyaga has called on Kenyans to support the initiative saying security should be the responsibility of all citizens.

"We recognise and appreciate the government's resolve to put in place security measures that will ensure the safety of Kenyans. One such measure is the plan to roll the Integrated Public Safety Communication and Surveillance System in partnership with Safaricom," he stated.

"We at KARA are aware that there has been a lot of public debate around the initiative and both the Government and Safaricom have been put to task to clarify a number of issues."

"It is also clear that some of the issues being raised regarding the initiative stems from lack of adequate and proper information and understanding of various aspects of the project."

He said the initiative will help the debate around the project "shift to objective and positive aspects of this initiative thereby generating an understanding of its immense benefits to the nation and citizenry."

The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo in a speech read by Nairobi Police Chief Benson Kibue said police response will be enhanced if the project is approved.

He says the project will help police have sufficient evidence when prosecuting criminals since the project come with new advanced security features.

"This is a great response to crime, which will enhance deterrence and other capacities to be able to tackle emerging threats," he stated.

"Our national security is evaluated as the level of our capacity to control security situation."

On Thursday, the project got approval from the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security.

Under the system, police will be able to relay videos and pictures while at a crime scene once the system is rolled out by December.

Police will be issued with new walkie-talkies fitted with a camera and other advanced security features.

The new system cannot be infiltrated; it's better manned and will enhance real-time security once rolled out.

The new system will be controlled from the Jogoo House command centre where all police officers can be tracked while undertaking their duties.

In case a police officer is under attack or needs reinforcement, the officer will just need to press a distress button and automatically the walkie-talkie will send a video to the command centre showing how the situation is.

A total of 7,600 police officers can be served at a go but it will be scaled to 50,000 officers later on.

It will first be implemented in Nairobi and Mombasa with over 1,000 cameras set to be fitted in strategic positions.

The system uses three high definition cameras; infra-red camera, box camera and dome cameras.

The dome camera can cover a 360 degree area while the infra-red camera will have ability to capture images in low light areas.

Police will easily track lost vehicles or one which has been used to commit crime due to number plate recognition.

Police are just required to feed the system with the car details and every time it passes an area fitted with the cameras, an alert will go to the command system.

Also under the new system there will be clusters formed in which junior officers can address their boss. Every member of the cluster is set to get any ongoing communication.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore explained that the service will strictly be accessed by the National Police Service, while dispelling fears of hacking.

He said police network will be entirely independent from that of Safaricom.

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