Cameras save taxpayer $1.5m on school security
A new security initiative in schools has saved Government more than $1.5 million in just nine months, according to the Ministry of Education.
The former PLP administration began installing security cameras throughout public schools at the end of 2011. The cameras replaced the need for teams of travelling security guards after schools had closed for the day and during holiday periods. The footage is monitored by a security company.
Education Minister Nalton Brangman said: “During 201½012 and part of 2012/2013, the Ministry of Education implemented a new security monitoring model in preschools, primary and middle schools so as to reduce the very high cost of roving security guard services.
“Through a competitive procurement process, the Ministry installed closed-circuit television cameras and monitoring stations and in so doing reduced the need for security guards significantly.
“I am very happy to report that in the first nine months of 2012/2013 the Ministry achieved savings of $1,554,000 in security guard service costs compared to the same period in 201½012. These savings are across the system of preschools, primary and middle schools.”
A Ministry spokeswoman did not reveal how many cameras had been installed but said: “The number varies from school to school based on size of the property. So that we do not compromise the safety of the children and the security of the buildings the exact number will not be disclosed. But the numbers were predetermined by the security company to determine best coverage for each site.“
Security guards are still on duty in middle schools and the two senior public schools during the school day to provide a physical presence.
“To be clear, we did not remove security guards from any schools that had them,” the spokeswoman said.
“The cameras supplement the work of guards in those schools where necessary. There is no need for a physical presence at the primary level. We removed roving security — a service which takes place when schools are closed. These persons went out and checked on the security of the sites. Now the cameras are strategically placed to monitor the property. The system in place is no different from what can be observed in Hamilton, with the prime focus of deterring or otherwise aiding in the apprehension of individuals involved in any kind of criminal activity on school property.”
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