With a projected economic growth rate of 6-7%, Rwanda is one of the fastest emerging economies in the world over, however like others, this growth comes with inherent and evolving societal dynamics that challenge this economic growth. The rapid growth of Rwanda’s population and urbanisation also throws up several challenges that if not dealt with threaten the very growth that the country aspires to pursue. The inevitability of income disparities as the economy grows invariably leads to increased crime and threats to property.
The deployment of public CCTV cameras improves the perception of safety and security among the general public and boosts the confidence of the investor and business community in the security of life and property. One of the direct impacts of the deployment of a robust CCTV network is visible on crime prevention reducing incidences by up to 51%.
A well designed CCTV infrastructure with high visibility to the general population is premised on the idea that when would-be offenders see the cameras, they will be less inclined to commit the offence because of the high possibility of being identified.
The benefits of the current deployment of CCTV cameras are already visible with complimenting policing efforts and enhancing security awareness.
Preventing crime and apprehending criminals
Technological advances enhance ability to monitor public and private spaces to prevent crime and apprehend criminals.
More people are installing CCTV cameras in their homes and business premises to keep an eye on domestic activities. In the 2011 UK riots; British police using CCTV to monitor crime and large events helped identify and prosecute many of the rioters and looters and up to 3,100 people had been arrested, of whom more than 1,000 had been charged. In 2013, CCTV footage was also vital in the identification and prosecution of the Boston marathon bombers as well as the perpetrators of the London bombings.
According to Gatera Jean Paul who owns a hard ware shop in Gakinjiro, theft is one of the biggest factors to negatively impact the success of a retail store.
“No matter how secure you think your store is, there is always a chance that theft can occur. A retail store security system is an essential part of loss prevention, and security cameras for retail stores play a big role stepping up security.”
“Putting a security camera in your hardware store and retail supermarket is a great way for retail theft prevention. If those who intend on stealing from your store (specialty shops, supermarkets, drug stores, discounters, convenience stores and thrift shops) spot a security camera, they will be much less inclined to proceed with shoplifting,” says Gatera.
Installation in public transport
According to Nsabimana Edward a supervisor for RFTC buses, accident rates can be reduced by almost half per month with the use of CCTV.
“There is need to have CCTV cameras installed in public transport vehicles to improve the behavior of the drivers. With cameras monitoring and recording the driver, there will be more discipline and no reckless driving which will definitely reduce road accidents by half” explains Nsabimana.
On board cameras can also be used to provide security to passengers and deter would-be pickpockets. Cameras can also be configured to cover the external areas of the bus and can be used during accident insurance claims potentially saving the industry millions in insurance claims and reducing the amount of time lost in investigation.
The intrinsic value of CCTV technology has also crossed into private transport with newer models embedding cameras with numerous smart features and integrating sensor technology to aid parking and other erstwhile mundane driving related functions.
Traditionally schools were safe spaces, however as incidences in the US have shown, schools are increasingly under threat from Gun violence.
CCTV footage has been successfully used to reconstruct the incidents and provide evidence for prosecution and liability claims.
In the case of Rwanda, the threats are more subtle but nonetheless dangerous, reports show that drugs, alcohol and other anti-social behaviours have invaded schools. There is now an increasing call for schools to use CCTV camera technology for school monitoring.
According to Opolot Andrew whose kids go to Green Hills Academy, the need of the hour is to ensure children are safe and feel safe all the time. Vigilance and keeping an eye out for any anomaly or deviations in children’s behavior is something that we can all do to ensure their safety.
“The answer is CCTV Surveillance Systems. In the age of technology, this simple weapon is one of the most effective ways to deter and fight the evils. Once connected to a wireless school system, the camera can be accessed from anywhere in the school which helps the administrators to keep an eye on things” explains Opolot.
Securing your Home
According to Martin Mwizerwa, CMO at AOS, there is a gathering momentum world over for these and other sophisticated security systems. “It is always good to have an extra pair of eyes at home, especially when you have young children or elderly persons left in the care of hired help.
A couple of working mothers have expressed the fact that while at work they are always worried about whether the toddler is being well taken care of.” “Indeed a while back a video showing a maid abuse a baby made rounds on social media further feeding this anxiety.
With smart technology, there is no need to worry, simply hook up your home to a cloud based CCTV system over a high speed network and you have real-time video feed of your home.
And with advances in technology, including in video cameras, video recorders, and networking capabilities, video surveillance systems are now affordable and appropriate for home use,” Mwizerwa says. According to Uwimana Francine, a working mother of six, home cameras are an excellent way to keep your home and its perimeter more secure.
“Whether you want to see what is happening in your house when you are away or seek to deter burglars and other intruders, a home CCTV camera makes it easy” she says. In many cities in the world, similar endeavors have seen crime rates drop by 30 per cent, and more people are embracing them in homes, schools, supermarkets and work places.
Private CCTV systems also support and compliment law enforcement; a good CCTV system provides Police with critical information to make a quick description of the offenders and increase the chances of capture and conviction.
Building owners need to consider installing smart CCTV systems within and at the perimeters of their premises to enhance the security of persons and property. It is imperative that the system is backed by a well-planned design philosophy and based on a robust architecture with scalability.
The provision of a robust CCTV design should also be a minimum standard for existing buildings and a prerequisite for the issuance of a construction permit in the case of new buildings. Several buildings and businesses in and around Kigali have installed some form of CCTV surveillance however many are defective or improperly installed providing little cover.
In some cases they are not working, this is a risk to the business. A CCTV system should provide all around recording in order to be effective. Connecting the system to the private security company provides them with a live feed via the Cloud or over the line, this enables them provide rapid relief during an incident preventing escalation.
AOS Ltd, an affiliate company of Korea Telecom (kt) in partnership with the Rwanda National Police has installed CCTV cameras in the several areas in the City of Kigali and is contributing towards building smart security and a safer city.
AOS is a leader in the field of ‘smart city’ solutions, which make use of a web of interconnected devices, software and cloud storage systems to enable public and private services to work together more efficiently