The Ministry of Justice and the Bureau of Public Safety adopted Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the management and use of the Closed-circuit Television Camera (CCTV) utilized by the Bureau of Public Safety in investigations, yesterday, 19th of October, 2023.
The purpose of the SOP is to serve as a “guide and training tool for the MOJ and its partners.” It provides specific rules, qualifications, and guidelines for managing the data, footage, and other information obtained by the CCTV cameras.
The SOP also provides criteria for requesting information, tracking the footage, and maintaining confidentiality and security of the information captured by the cameras.
There are 52 sites covered by CCTV cameras, from the airport road in Airai to Icebox Park in Malakal and to Echang in Ngerkebesang. The CCTV cameras record traffic and other activities along the main highway and certain secondary roads where they are located.
The CCTV cameras have helped police investigations tremendously, confirmed BPS Acting Director Rickley Antonio.
“Some cases would not have been solved if we did not have the CCTV cameras,” said Antonio.
“Before, with traffic cases, it would take the court one whole day to dispose of one or two traffic cases; now, it can dispose of 5 or more cases. With CCTV camera footage, the judge can quickly review the footage and issue a decision,” said Blekuu Sbal, ITMS-Coordinator, of the impact of the CCTV cameras.
Most cases using the CCTV cameras are traffic violation cases, but there are some unique cases that the CCTV cameras have resolved, added Blekuu.
The CCTV camera falls under the Information Technology Management Services(ITMS) under the Bureau of Public Safety, with Blekuu Sbal as Coordinator and Office June Ultirakl as Intelligent Surveillance System (ISMS). These are responsible for the CCTV cameras’ operation and data management.
“Sometimes we get calls from people asking if we can provide footage of certain areas covered by CCTV or certain vehicles. We don’t release such information. Requests have to follow a process that is spelled out in this SOP,” explained Coordinator Sbal.
The SOP took effect immediately upon endorsement of the Vice President and Minister of Justice Uduch Sengebau-Senior and Acting-Director of the Bureau of Public Safety Rickley Antonio.