Governmental security bodies will now be in a better position to track suspected individuals possibly criminals in the streets following the roll out of the first phase of Safaricom’s national surveillance system in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The 15bn project contract signed 6 months ago includes installation of cameras in the two cities to provide real-time footage to the National Police Operations Centre and in the same breathe enable law enforcement officers effectively coordinate and deploy their resources in response to threats to national security and, indeed, emergency situations requiring the interplay of competencies from the National Police Service and various disaster response teams.
As of now, the project has seen the connection of 195 police stations in Nairobi and Mombasa to 4G networks in a bid to ease communication. This is following multiple attacks experienced in the two cities over the last one year with speculations of the two cities being possible hubs of terrorists.
The project meant to enhance security in the country by providing security agents with the capability to monitor and deter crime got a go-ahead by the government after the telecommunications company underwent intense scrutiny by National assembly and public procurement oversight Authority.
The government will enjoy the use of the service at no cost for the first year of its operation after which it will pay for the solution through a series of annual installments starting 2016. The project will run on the latest LTE Push To Talk standard for public safety systems that uses the lower frequency bands assigned to security services. It will be a standalone independent IP network with multiple redundancies that will deliver high speed video, voice and data a wide ranging number of secure device.
The police officers will also be equipped with track-able walkie-talkies that will make it easy to locate officers closest to a crime scene for fast response. This will be backed up by a command and control redundancy centre capable of coordinating emergency response.
After the expiry of the final agreed contact period, the infrastructure will belong to the National Police Service on a build, operate and transfer model. To validate that, an open book accounting method will be used to ensure that the customer has full visibility of all costs.