April 20, 2010 |

(New Straits Times, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 – Streets – Page, 1 )

By Dawn Chan


The township is enjoying lower crime rates, thanks to the cameras

‘Cops respond in 8 minutes’

Officers monitor the CCTV footage 24 hours a day at the command centre at Cyberjaya police station.

SEPANG: While many areas in the Klang Valley grapple with rising crime rates, Cyberjaya is enjoying increasing security as the township is more than halfway towards achieving its target of being a safe city with a zero crime rate.

This is largely due to the fully integrated Malaysian Emergency Response System (MERS) 999-CCTV (closed-circuit television) system.
Launched on June 1 last year, Cyberjaya’s CCTV system is the only system in the country that has been linked to the RM10 million MERS 999.

The integration of these two systems is an initiative under the Federal Government’s M-SAFE project, which was inspired by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan.

Sepang police chief Superintendent Zahedi Ayob says most of the cases reported in Cyberjaya were petty crimes in student hostels

Thanks to the watchful eyes of police personnel at the CCTV command centre on the second floor of the Cyberjaya police station, the crime index has fallen.
However, Sepang police chief Superintendent Zahedi Ayob is not about to rest on his laurels just yet. “I will be happy when we have achieved the goal of making Cyberjaya a safe city and when we can put up signages that say: `Beware, you are being watched by the police so better behave yourself,” said Zahedi in an interview with Streets at the command centre yesterday.

Since the implementation of the system, Zahedi said, the crime rate had declined significantly. In the first three months of this year, 21 cases were recorded. They were mostly petty crimes taking place in student hostels. Last year, petty crime was the main contributor to the crime index, with 61 reported cases.

The CCTV system, part of the Cyberjaya Citywide Surveillance System, boasts 30 cameras in parts of Cyberjaya with a high traffic volume and large population, such as in Persiaran Multimedia, Persiaran APEC, Jalan Teknokrat and Persiaran Semarak Api, near schools and in public parks.
At the command centre, 12 police personnel, who are divided into four shifts, monitor the CCTV footage on a video wall round the clock.

The policemen are able to view incidents happening in real time and immediately send for assistance, without having to wait for emergency or distress calls made to MERS 999.

When calls do come in, they are answered within four rings or not more than 10 seconds. The officers who man MERS 999- CCTV have set a high benchmark for themselves.

“We respond within eight minutes, which is half the national response time of 15 minutes,” Zahedi said. He said they received an average of 15 calls a day from the public and the cases ranged from break-ins to public disturbances.

To further enhance security in Cyberjaya, Zahedi said, the authorities were looking into boosting the number of policemen from 42 to 52 so that they could be stationed at strategic areas and more patrols could be carried out.

He said the CCTV system was an open system and was compatible with any plug-ins to allow linkups with companies. Zahedi encouraged owners of buildings and premises such as banks to install two CCTVs at their entrances so that the “This will give the public a sense of confidence, safety and security.

Any incident can be easily solved with real- time evidence from the CCTV recordings, which are kept for a month. “It also enables the relevant authorities, be it the Fire and Rescue Department, police or others respond quickly,” he said.

Cyberview Sdn Bhd managing director Hafldz Hashim said the cost of the system included the installation, maintenance and system upgrade for the next nine years.

He said they were looking into doubling the number of CCTVs by seeking funds from the 10th Malaysia Plan. Another way to increase the number of CCTVs, he added, was through negotiations with housing developers to incorporate the system within their projects.

The idea, said Hafidz, had been proposed to housing developers and the response had been positive. “The CCTVs are designed to be able to operate round the clock, in all types of weather conditions and capture quality daytime and night-time images, utilising Cyberjaya’s fibreoptic backbone system.

“Six parties were involved in the planning and design of the MERS 999-CCTV system in Cyberjaya: Cyberview, TM, the Royal Malaysian Police, Sepang Municipal Council, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Multimedia Development Corporation,” he added The pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras are able to rotate 180 degrees and 360 degrees with 32 times optical zoom, up to a distance of 200 metres.

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