Hundreds of video cameras to monitor Costa Rican streets

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The Public Security Ministry is beginning the nationwide installation of 342 surveillance cameras as a means of curtailing the crime rate.

The cameras will be strategically located in the cities of San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Limón, and will be monitored 24 hours a day by 60 policemen.

According to the Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE), which is partnering with the ministry on the $9 million project, the system is modelled after similar ones in Colombia and London.

“This is not new,” said Pedro Pablo Quirós, president of ICE. “We did thorough research … and believe this is an important way to fight crime.”

Quirós said it would be used as an evidence-gathering tool, lower the costs related to security personnel and help supervise critical operations.

“There will be electric eyes on different points chosen by security forces, both for roads, roundabouts, some buildings and corners of various neighborhoods,” Quirós said. “These cameras can capture images, deliver them and process them, and from there actions can be taken.”

Janina del Vecchio, public security minister, celebrated their pending installation saying, “By announcing the Citizen Protection Video Project today, the government has completed another of its promises, which … was to bring more security to citizens…. I am proud to say (the Oscar Arias administration) has been able to complete 87 percent of public security challenges.”

Del Vecchio expects the installation to begin in August.

Written By Chrissie Long and originally posted at Tico Times

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