Governor Ambode, LASEMA and the 13,000 CCTV Cameras

In a recent press release by Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the agency hinted that 13,000 Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Surveillance cameras will be mounted at identified flash points across Lagos state, with an aim of improving on emergency response time. The approval for the establishment of three additional dispatch centers in Lekki, Ikorodu and Badagry was also announced.  The existing dispatch points are located at the LASEMA Response Unit, Cappa Oshodi and the Command and Control Centre, Alausa.

This development is commendable and brings to fore the prime role of Information Technology in our world. While reading the LASEMA press release, I found myself pondering why LASEMA should consider this option ahead of security agencies in the state – Police, LASTMA etc I reached a conclusion that the security agencies can leverage on LASEMA forward thinking plan to deliver on their mandate of maintaining order and securing lives and properties across the state.

Losing valuable properties to arm bandits in traffic and snatching of handbags from pedestrians is still a regular occurrence in Lagos. In December 2016, one Aisha, a mother of two was shot dead on Ikorodu road during a robbery operation induced by heavy traffic. Motorists at the scene of these incidences look the other way in other to stay alive.

The LASEMA plan should be integrated with the security agencies for joint implementation. Like LASEMA, the security agencies should have more “dispatch” centers. The security agencies can afford intelligent dispatch that allows fluid positioning to areas of dense traffic given that criminals lurk in the wilderness of dense traffic.

Another possibility is improvement of traffic monitoring, given that smart cameras are Internet Protocol (IP) enabled, designated LASTMA officials can use the Cameras to monitor traffic situation on busy routes. These can also be extended to Lagosians who are willing to pay a certain fee to have access to live camera’s to monitor traffic condition along their route. The State government should consider partnering an app development company on how to build and generate revenue from a traffic monitoring app.

The Cameras can also be used to instill a sense of discipline in Lagos motorist who sometimes ignore traffic lights. These traffic light violators commit the crime repeatedly because they are not being penalized; promoting a culture of abuse and lawlessness. The CCTV can be used to capture number plates of traffic violators and their information passed to nearest security agency for action. Besides being punished and fined, these violators should be made to face public trial to serve as deterrent to the general public.

www.ekocitymagazine.com (a 100% Lagos focused news platform) is putting these ideas forward on the premise that the Ambode government is a listening and forward looking government as evident in the ongoing and executed projects by the administration. Lagos is undoubtedly enjoying commendable infrastructural development under the Ambode led government.

The CCTV project, if properly planned and implemented will not only improve response time to emergencies, it will create safer roads, jobs, increase revenue generation and aid traffic monitoring.

The acid test for the implementation of the CCTV installation project will be the quality of cameras used, expertise and experience of project contractor. Post project maintenance and protection of cameras from theft and vandalisation; and optimization of the gadgets by the appropriate government agencies.

Lagosians what do you make of these suggestions? Ekocity will like to know your views.

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