BusinessDay

Nigerian Police’s laudable advice on CCTV installation in homes

The Nigeria Police Force recently advised Nigerian businesses and homes to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) gadgets in order to reduce insecurity in the country. Making this known through the Ebonyi State’s command, the spokesperson of the command, SP Chris Anyawu, emphasised that the gadget will help police resolve many criminal acts.

This encouragement from the Nigeria Police is highly commendable. In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed an upsurge in criminal activities from kidnapping to bank robberies and attacks on Point of Sales (PoS) operators.

According to SBM Intelligence, between July 2021 and June 2022, no fewer than 3,420 Nigerians were kidnapped out of which 564 others were killed. Kidnappers also collected N653.7 million as ransom payments from their victims.

Bandits have repeatedly attacked states like Kaduna, Zamfara, Niger, Benue, Katsina, Borno, Ondo, Delta, among others. Some of these cases would have been easily investigated and culprits prosecuted if CCTV cameras were installed in different locations in each state in the country.

Should the installation of CCTV cameras become a state policy, we are likely to see the influx of all sorts of CCTV cameras in the marketplace and these Nigerians will be at the loser end

Technology and crime fighting are inseparable nowadays. This is because criminals keep improving on their modus operandi in order to beat the vigilant security agencies. Technology is needed to identify, establish and separate the innocent individuals from the real culprits.

In the last decade, crime detection and prevention have improved as different layers of security agencies bolstered the sharing of crime related data. Technology helps in surveillance of hot spots and security operatives are able to launch covert operations either to prevent the attacks from taking place or by arresting only the culprits and not innocent individuals.

According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, there are about 42 million housing units in Nigeria in 2022. This comes to about 5 individuals per a housing unit. Assuming a quarter of the 42 million housing units will be in the need of CCTV, this policy, if encouraged to be implemented by households, will lead to the installation of over 10 million CCTV gadgets in homes alone. Millions will also be installed in businesses across the country.

There are many ways CCTV has helped law enforcement agencies in quickly addressing criminal cases. For instance in July, the Lagos Police Command, Alapere division arrested three cultists who were responsible for the killing of a rival cultist in the Alapere area of the state. Police were able to quickly resolve the case as the nearby CCTV captured the face of the criminals while perpetuating their crime.

Read also: Police to Nigerians: Install CCTV in your homes, business premises

In Ebonyi State, a gang of robbers who attacked a fashion shop in the state capital, Abakaliki were easily apprehended because the nearby CCTV camera captured their faces.

Based on the foregoing, the benefits of having CCTV cameras installed in homes, businesses and market places cannot be overemphasised.

But many concerns remain. Nigeria is a country that has been turned into a dumping ground when it comes to electronic products. Items such as bulbs, adaptors, radios, TV sets, refrigerators as well as other electronic products of very poor quality have flooded the Nigerian markets.

The consumer protection agencies may be working; however, it appears they are overwhelmed. This is because consumers who are Nigerians do not have anyone to assist them whenever the goods they bought in the marketplace happened to be fake.

Should the installation of CCTV cameras become a state policy, we are likely to see the influx of all sorts of CCTV cameras in the marketplace and these Nigerians will be at the loser end. Not only is the CCTV camera not be able to serve the purpose it is meant for, they would have equally lost money and time in the process.

CCTV camera utilises electricity and this is a sector the Nigerian government has not been able to record noticeable progress. Electricity supply still hovers about 5,000MW.

This implies that CCTV manufacturers must design their products in such a way as to be able to utilise different energy sources especially solar and wind. Their products must be highly effective and consume minimal electricity. In addition, installation and retrieval of information should be hassle free.

There are local firms that are into the production of security gadgets such as Proforce, and others. They should be encouraged to be the major stakeholder in CCTV production, distribution, and installation in the country. The Nigerian government should come up with different specifications through which Nigerians will have options to choose from.

It should be a serious offence for Nigerian security agencies whether police, DSS, armed forces or regional militias to remove CCTV cameras installed in homes or offices.

At no time must a CCTV be removed from homes or offices by security personnel as it happened on July 1, 2021, when the Nigerian DSS attacked the home of Sunday Adeyemo otherwise known as Sunday Igboho. Should any security agencies remove CCTV in the home of anyone, this should warrant immediate dismissal from service.