150 spy eyes on Colombo city

By Damith Wickremasekara

Colombo will be under surveillance of closed circuit TV cameras from December 29 as the first phase of a Rs. 700 million project to keep main towns, security camps and important buildings under watch, Senior Deputy Inspector General Gamini Navaratna told the Sunday Times.

The recordings will be monitored round the clock from the operations room set up at the Colombo DIG’s office at Police headquarters, he said. “We will be using the recordings to monitor criminal activities, gather intelligence, control traffic and impose fines,” he said.

The DIG said the first stage would be limited to Colombo city where Rs. 300 million had been spent and more than 150 CCTV cameras set up.

Among the locations the cameras have been set up are the Lipton’s Circus, Maradana, Borella, all entrance bridges to Colombo, on flyovers, the high security zones including the Presidential Secretariat, Temple Trees, armed forces headquarters and some of the ministries.

DIG Navaratna said that under the second phase, they would be installing the cameras in main towns and gradually spread over to other important places in the country.

He said traffic offences would be monitored and the offenders informed to call over at the respective police station for fines to be imposed. He said violating traffic signals, unauthorized parking and travelling on unauthorized or one-way lanes were among the offences that would be monitored.

“In many countries booking traffic offenders based on CCTV camera recordings is common. We are joining those,” he said.

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