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Bahamas, Guyana eye facial recognition surveillance projects to fight crime

Bahamas, Guyana eye facial recognition surveillance projects to fight crime
 

Prime Minister Philip Davis of The Bahamas has called on citizens to accept and support a government surveillance project which includes facial recognition, justifying that the system would enhance public security for the general good. Guyana is also implementing a similar project which is part of a strategy by the country’s police to better respond to crime using cutting-edge technology.

Bahamas PM urges business community support for CCTV system

The country’s police has been trialing the system in the last two years, and the PM believes it’s time for business entities to subscribe to it by contacting the Ministry of National Security, The Tribune reports.

The project requires businesses to permit the police exploit their CCTV surveillance cameras and video footage to identify criminal activities.

Making a case for the deployment of the system, Davis said it can, among other things, “help identify faces and license plate numbers and detect guns.”

While expressing satisfaction that many businesses are already part of the project, the PM called on all those that are lagging to “call the national security” because an extra camera brought on board will “make a difference in our ability to prevent and detect crime and apprehend criminals.”

In The Bahamas, like elsewhere around the world, the facial recognition surveillance project has sparked criticism not only over issues related to false matching, but also about data privacy and security. In January however, the country’s National Security Minister Wayne Munroe defended the system.

FUSUS, a US real-time camera integration platform, is understood to be part of the project and will help in integrating some policing tools.

The video surveillance program is part of The Bahamas’ digital transformation efforts which also include plans for a digital ID ecosystem, in the works since 2022.

Guyana deploys biometric surveillance to fight crime

In a related story, Guyana is also investing a huge sum of money in a biometric surveillance project, which the government says, is meant to track criminals and their activities.

According to iNews Guyana, the technology to be deployed at the new headquarters of the country’s police force is part of a project estimated at $28 million.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo recently spoke about the project and said it constitutes part of the strategy of the police force to improve its crime combat prowess using advanced technologies and forensics.

“We’re already putting in security cameras with facial recognition software. We’re working on a biometric project that would allow us to know every criminal in Guyana, and we can pinpoint where they are at any moment,” said Jadgeo, as quoted.

Guyana is also working on a digital ID project with Veridos as the supplier.

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