To get closer to Singapore, London or Monaco is a normal desire for Belarus. But this week, Belarusian officials talked about the desire to organize a video surveillance system in the country. This should be a unified monitoring system for safety and financial savings. This was discussed at a meeting with President Lukashenko on Monday. Yevgeny Gorin reports.
A recording from surveillance cameras in Copenhagen helped trace the terrorist already on the next day after he arranged the attack.
The question of security is becoming pressing all over the world. In the cities of developed countries, this is done thanks to CCTV cameras. The United Kingdom is ahead of others in this respect: more than 4 million cameras in the streets and indoors. An absolute record.
The main subject of interest of these digital devices is anti-social behavior. Part of cameras is equipped with loudspeakers.
There are more than two thousand children in this Mogilev school. It's impossible to keep an eye on each of them. But teachers are helped by 40 cameras. Digital eyes see everyone, starting from the street and ending with a swimming pool.
Vladimir Matievsky, director of secondary school No45 of Mogilev:
There were cases when children's things disappeared during competitions held in this school. We tried to find out who stole these things.
The video surveillance system of the Mogilev school cost about BYN15,000. It took three years to create it using extra-budgetary funds.
Like any mother I of course would like to have this at school.
My two children study here. My boys are very fast. You can hardly follow them everywhere. But cameras added discipline.
This camera fixing speed violations is famous. In 2016, it added 1.5 million pounds to the budget. In just six months.
Kiev has recently outlined plans to overtake London by the number of CCTV cameras. It will not be easy to accomplish this since 600,000 digital eyes is a high bar. For now, Kyiv is going to install an additional four thousand cameras for more security during Eurovision 2017.
In Minsk, a video surveillance system was established in 2004. Accidents in real time are seen by a person on duty, who is located a few kilometers away from the scene. A traffic police crew is also ready to act. Not only police, but also cafes and cinemas install such cameras. In short, these are places where a lot of people gather.
Alexnder Kupchenya, head of the crime prevention office of the Chief Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee:
Here is the most resonant example. At the end of 2016, there was an armed assault on a supermarket cashier in the Pervomaisky district of Minsk. It was namely the camera on the store that helped us identify the criminal. Within a few days this person was found and arrested.
For the first two months of 2017, the Minsk surveillance system has helped uncover more than 60 crimes. Minsk now has about four thousand cameras. 7,000 more are in other regions of Belarus.
Soon Belarus will have a single video network. Such a project was discussed by the Belarus President. But he said that the country needs to choose the main operator of the entire system.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Why not create this system under the auspices of a public authority, which will become the owner of the relevant resources? Maybe you will present some additional arguments in favor of your proposal to leave it all in the hands of a private operator.
Developers of the relevant bill will have to answer this question in the near future.
Igor Shunevich, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
Private businesses or partnerships of owners (with regard to premises) will be able to get cameras and connect them to this system for the sake of protection, to ensure safe life, work and so on. It will not be obligatory. This is only an option they have.
To connect to such video surveillance systems is also a worldwide practice. Residents of some areas of London even have their own CCTV TV. This is a TV channel broadcasting the image from CCTV cameras. Authorities thus urge citizens "to fight crime while sitting on the couch."
Dmitry Nikolaichuk, chief guard of a shopping center:
During one week we stop about 2-3 large thefts. We also prevent some 5-6 minor offenses per week, like eating unpaid products or drinking alcoholic beverages.
The new generation of camcorders detects even person's faces. Scotland Yard encourages homeowners to install this equipment at eye height. This makes it easier to check persons against a database of 12 million photos of suspects. However, some in the UK don't approve of such a huge number of cameras. Some are ready to put on ridiculous glasses prevent their faces from being recognized by cameras.
Experts are convinced that video surveillance will very soon be used on a par with DNA and fingerprint analysis in the fight against crime. Of course, camera will not be a panacea, but it is clearly another step towards higher quality of life and life safety.