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Slow progress on speed cameras slammed

No comment: Renee Ming, the minister for national security (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Proposals for speed cameras and other hi-tech surveillance equipment were still up in the air after the Government failed to say if it backed police calls for more technology to fight crime.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said two months ago that the island’s CCTV network was not up to the job and that the service was also in talks with Government about speed cameras.

Mr Corbishley added that traffic crime – including cases of dangerous driving and driving under the influence – was the biggest problem that the force had to deal with.

Bermuda has recorded seven road fatalities this year.

He could not give a timeline for the replacement of ageing security cameras, which he said had been damaged by the island’s climate.

Mr Corbishley said the island’s CCTV infrastructure was being developed to get it “back up to standard”.

He added that the upgrades would need cash from Government and that the BPS was in discussions with Renee Ming, the minister of national security.

But Ms Ming has failed to comment on whether she supported the proposal, despite repeated questions over the last two months.

Government did not allocate funding for upgrades in this year’s Budget.

If it did plan to set aside cash for the equipment in the 2022/23 Budget, the ministry should have submitted its capital project wish list by May.

More questions sent to the national security ministry this week were also not responded to.

Michael Dunkley, the shadow minister of national security, accused the Government of paying “lip service” to public safety.

He said: “"The current state of repair and operation of the CCTV system is a real concern. It is public knowledge that many cameras are not currently in operation.

“In addition, while the Bermuda Police Service has launched heightened road policing measures to calm the dangerous driving habits seen all too often, it will be interesting to learn of Government's commitment to upgrading the system given the fact that in the current budget there was no allocation of funding.”

Mr Dunkley added: “The BPS has our full support in their measures to calm our roads as daily we witness speeding and horrific driving habits – however, to date, the Government's lip service has done nothing to help the cause.

“As the minister who approved the funding for the current system I am well aware of its capability and the options to add to it.

“The PLP has not supported the BPS in this regard and the lip service must end.”

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Published August 31, 2021 at 7:53 am (Updated August 31, 2021 at 7:46 am)

Slow progress on speed cameras slammed

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