Thursday ,15th February, 2018 – Five public secondary schools are to be retrofitted with Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras by next week to counter constant vandalism and theft.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Minister of Information the Hon. Melford Nicholas, during the weekly post cabinet press briefing. Cabinet says it “views the security of schools as exceedingly important,” adding that “the cost of human security has become very costly; more effective, yet less costly technology is to be applied wherever possible.”
All Saints Secondary, Princess Margaret, Jennings Secondary, Ottos Comprehensive and Antigua Grammar Schools are the institutions identified for the installation of cameras. The ministry of education is receiving reports almost on a weekly basis of theft and vandalism. All Saints Secondary School was vandalized twice in at least a month with graffiti on several buildings on the school’s compound. Damage was also reported as the vandal/s allegedly threw rocks at glass windows.
Asked whether the installation of cameras will mean a reduction in physical security, the information minister says there is a place for both the surveillance system and physical security guards.
Commenting on the announcement, Director of Education, Clare Browne welcomed the news, noting that repeated break-ins and vandalism at schools were proving costly for the Board of Education. He said monies that would otherwise be used in the advancement of student learning are being diverted to effect repairs.
It was revealed that the Ministry of Information and the Public Communications Safety Network will bear the responsibility for surveillance, once the cameras become operational.
Cabinet says the long-term plan is to have security cameras installed at all public institutions of learning.