All 300,000 CCTVs to be overhauled

All 300,000 CCTVs to be overhauled

Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered maintenance on all 300,000 known CCTV countries nationwide, to ensure they work. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an overhaul of 300,000 security cameras across the country to boost surveillance efficiency.

Gen Prayut said all the security cameras, state-operated and privately-owned, must be functional.

There are about 300,000 security cameras installed nationwide and their surveillance recordings have proven to be useful in fighting crime.

He said the overhaul of these cameras must be completed as quickly as possible and the government will offer financial assistance to private entities to improve their systems.

The Finance Ministry will be asked to consider tax measures as an incentive because this is a matter of public interest, he said.

According to Gen Prayut, state-owned security cameras must be improved and if more cameras are needed, the concerned agencies will be required to draft plans to seek funds.

He said in the first stage security cameras should be up and running across the country and the second stage will involve quality enhancement, which will require replacements and significant funds.

However, he said replacing the existing ones with high-quality products is still out of reach as it will cost a lot of money.

Gen Prayut said security camera maintenance is most important, along with providing cooperation when authorities ask to access recordings, as is specified by the law.

“Private and state agencies must cooperate. Faulty equipment should not be an excuse,” he said.

Gen Prayut was speaking after chairing the meeting of National Security Council (NSC) on the country’s preparations to face challenges.

He said he has instructed the NSC to consider how to deal with all aspects of security — be it economy, finance and terrorism.

“We’ve just worked on the anti-terrorism plan. There must be a steering committee to make sure it is in line with the international community and meets local security needs,” he said.

He said the meeting was also urged to review national security strategy and make sure the blueprint is completed while his government is still in power. It should also comply with the 20-year national strategy and the national social and economic development plan.

Gen Prayut said the meeting also touched on possibly restructuring the NSC, noting the government intends to make changes to the agency’s structure and install tools to deliver information to the government.

“This is to make sure that the NSC will deliver information to the government and make itself a true security adviser,” he said.

Outgoing NSC chief Thawip Netniyom said Wednesday the prime minister also ordered the National Intelligence Agency to revamp its operations to meet security challenges.

He said the NSC meeting was also briefed on the drafting process of the 2017-2021 national security policy and planning and the 2017-2021 national strategy for cybersecurity.