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A Plea For Streetlights As An Anti-Crime Tool

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Fairly recently, the  Ghana Police Service  mounted over a thousand surveillance cameras throughout the country to boost the fight against crime and this has yielded some positive results worth writing home about.

The over 1000 CCTV cameras installed across the 16 regions is just the first phase.

The second phase would have an additional 800 cameras and they would all have synchronized central monitoring centers placed in Kumasi, Accra and Tamale, monitoring all the 16 regions.

Indeed, across the developed parts of the world, information and communications technology is being used by law enforcement agencies to fight crime the results are simply amazing.

Statistics say the police-citizen ratio in Ghana is one to 900 instead of the standard United Nations police-citizen ratio which is one to 500 people.

Clearly there is a shortfall in the Ghanaian situation and the reliance on ICT, specifically surveillance cameras installed across the country, would in a way, make up for this shortfall.

One of our concerns is that a good number of these cameras are placed in places where there are no functioning streetlights and it certainly affects the quality of footage these cameras can take at night.

It is an issue authorities have shied away from although it is one of worry and great concern.

The installed cameras are to take footage or when be used in the live monitoring of the route of carjackers and suspected criminals.

It is very possible and does not amount to asking for too much to make a plea, in this write-up for Government to step up its game in the provision of street lights across the country.

It is true there are advanced CCTVs that can take photographs in the dark. But the outcome would not be as clear and as visible as one taken under light.

We are talking about both motion and still photos here and they both need lights.

The British science scholar, Sir John Herschel, who first formed the words photography from the Greek words phos (meaning light) and  graphê  (meaning drawing or writing), said it means to draw or write with lights.

In the absence of lights, the image would be blurred. And why should we rely on blurred images in identifying criminals when indeed it is possible to get the clearest of images in we did the right things.

It is frustrating why and how the street lights start to malfunction or completely go off within a short period of time. It is strange that this is the situation across the country be it along the highways or access roads within towns and villages.

Something certainly is not adding up and we suggest contractors who undertake streetlight projects should be made to sign some form of durability warranty.

Ghana is too dark at night and we plead that the faulty street lights should be repaired and made to function as they ought to, while areas without streetlights are given theirs.

Criminals do not like operating in well laminated areas, especially when they are aware there are CCTV surveillance cameras capturing their every move.

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