PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will soon have tens of thousands of closed-circuit television (CCTVs) – all linked to state police contingents and Bukit Aman – to monitor all corners and alleys, ultimately to increase public safety.
Dubbed the “Safecam Partnership” initiative, the police are coming up with a better method to link privately owned CCTVs to their central command centre (CCC) in all states and police headquarters.
In line with the United Against Crime concept, the collaboration between the force and owners of private premises forms the biggest CCTV network in the country.
A big number of owners of private premises have agreed to register their CCTV devices with the police, which enables the law enforcement agency to have access to their cameras as and when they are needed.
The first stage has already started, focusing on crime hotspots in six states – Johor, Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Kelantan – with more than 3,340 CCTVs connected to command centres of state police contingents.
Johor was the pioneer state with 1,176 CCTVs in the initiative since Oct 14, 2012. The initiative picked up pace with 178 CCTVs being roped in in Malacca and 1,415 in Selangor on Nov 21 and Dec 13 last year.
Negri Sembilan and Kedah completed the pact with 33 and 436 CCTVs respectively. Kelantan is the latest with 111 CCTVs.
In Selangor, 50 loudspeakers were also installed together with the CCTVs in selected hotspots to alert the public.
Federal Crime Prevention department director Comm Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the programme’s goal was to link 40,282 CCTVs to the police’s CCC this year.
“Some 3,361 entities from the private and public sector have pledged 40,282 CCTVs to the Safecam initiative. We expect the agreements to be signed and agreed on by the end of the year,” he told The Star yesterday.
Comm Ayub said that under the programme, owners of premises or businesses needed to supply the CCTVs, with storage capacity of 30 days and 420TVL (TV Lines) resolution, at their own cost.
“It also dictates that the police should have access to the footage upon request. On our part, the police will increase patrols at these premises and conduct constant discussion to improve the programme,” he said.
Comm Ayub added that the programme was geared towards modern policing by integrating the CCTV network of private companies and government agencies nationwide.
“It is based on a system used in England in the interest of public safety,” he said.
Comm Ayub said the police were also working with the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to install a further 496 CCTVs in crime hotspots this year.
“We will determine the location of the CCTVs through discussions with the respective local councils,” he said.
The department, he said, was also planning to expand the Safecam programme to schools and shopping malls to prevent wayside robberies, especially snatch thefts.
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the initiative would greatly benefit the effort to combat crime as the footage could be disseminated quickly to the police.
“The police will be able to mobilise manpower more systematically. It is really a progressive move geared towards greater efficiency of the police force,” he said.
He, however, reminded the participating companies and police to avoid any form of abuse.
Expert warns Safecam could lead to invasion of privacy