Proposed CCTV cameras for Swakopmund pending

06 Sep 2017 08:10am
By Paulus Shiku
SWAKOPMUND, 06 SEP (NAMPA) - The Police Public Relations Committee (PPRC) in Swakopmund is awaiting feedback from the municipality on their proposal to introduce surveillance cameras in town.
Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras monitor, record, and transmit images of a specific area. They function as a crime deterrent and can alert police of crimes as they happen.
The committee ran a trial of two CCTV cameras in town in 2008 with the help of business owners who financed it.
However, no official submission to council was made on the implementation of cameras, said PPRC Chairperson Anett Kötting.
Kötting, who joined the committee in August last year, told Nampa Monday they submitted a proposal to council last week.
“CCTV cameras in my view are a safety requirement for any town,” she said.
Such cameras became more relevant following the death of two local senior citizens after they were attacked by burglars last month, said Kötting.
Roswitha Strzelecki, 79, and her husband Siegfried Strzelecki, 82, were assaulted and robbed by three suspects at their home.
Kötting said another incident is the robbery last week of a local businesswoman who was on her way to deposit money at a bank.
She said more than N.dollars 1 million is needed to buy and install more than 55 CCTV cameras at various shopping centres.
Kötting acknowledged that such equipment and installation could be expensive for the municipality alone, thus the committee will request the business community to assist in acquiring the camera technology.
The PPRC suggested that N.dollars 5 or N.dollars 10 be added to the water or rates and taxes bills of residents to finance the cameras.
“We will, however, consult the community regarding this,” said Kötting.
She noted that if the financial support is good, Mondesa and other neighbourhoods could also get surveillance cameras.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Swakopmund Municipality, Marco Swarts said they only received official communication from the PPRC last week.
“The only thing that was happening over the past few years was verbal communication,” said Swarts.
The proposal is yet to be submitted to the management committee for consideration.
Swarts said the process is long and involves tabling the proposal, consulting the public, approval or disapproval by councillors, gazetting if approved, soliciting finances, and implementation.
He stressed that consultations are very important, especially when deductions from clients’ accounts are proposed.
Responding to the idea of CCTV cameras, Namibian Police Force Head of Community Policing in the Erongo Region, Warrant Officer Ileni Shapumba on Monday said she is looking forward to seeing it realised, so the police can keep people and properties safe.
The PPRC was established in 2008 as a link between the community and police, especially to transfer information from the community to the police and vice-versa.
Members meet monthly with the police, community members, traffic departments as well as neighbourhood watch groups to discuss various issues, especially crime reduction.