Crimes: Police, Telcos to Install CCTV Cameras in Telecoms Masts

  • Pilot scheme set to begin with deployment in Abuja

Emma Okonji

To curb criminal activities and check insecurity in major cities, the Nigeria Police Force and telecom operators (Telcos) have commenced collaboration to install high-sensitive close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras on top of telecoms masts across the country, THISDAY has learnt.

The cameras, it was learnt, will monitor and capture criminal activities and send the signals to a central control room located inside the new Police ICT Centre in Abuja.

THISDAY gathered that the collaboration is the first time the police will be partnering telecoms operators, under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), to address insecurity in Nigeria.

Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga, told THISDAY that the initiative, which came from the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, would curb criminal activities such as kidnapping, armed robbery, harassment and attacks by hoodlums and social miscreants.

According to him, the IG has asked ALTON to come up with an initial proof of concept to install 50 CCTV cameras in six locations around Abuja axis, with plans to extend the installation to major streets of Abuja where telecoms masts are located.

The idea, he said, was to extend the project to all states, beginning with Abuja and its environs.

He added that the first technical meeting between the Force Headquarters and members of ALTON was held in Abuja last week, while another meeting has been scheduled for next week to conclude the planning stage for the deployment of the CCTV cameras.

Awonuga who was optimistic that the telcos would successfully execute the project in record time, said the telecoms operators had the reach, with installed telecoms masts across all cities of the country.

The masts would make it easier for them to install sufficient CCTV cameras across the country.
According to him, the initiative will equally help telecoms operators get maximum protection of telecoms facilities across the country.

“Telecoms operators have suffered willful destruction of telecoms facilities by vandals and in most states, government agencies do close down telecoms sites with impunity, but all these attacks will stop as soon as the police begin to get security signals from the CCTV cameras installed on telecoms masts, because the police will protect the masts to avoid disruption of flow of security signals to their central control room,” Awonuga stated.

He said the signal transmission from CCTV cameras to the central control room in Abuja, would be online real-time, which will alert officers in the control room of any criminal activities going on in a particular location.
This, he added, will prompt them to dispatch emergency response team to such a location.

The initiative will also enhance timely investigation of criminal cases with the police, when successfully deployed.
The measure, according to him, will also help the police tackle the increasing challenges of high-level criminal activities across the country.