The Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that from next year security cameras will be operating on the streets of District 1 to assist the Police in control traffic and public order. Many of the cameras will be operating in the small alleyways where security can be a problem.
Whilst this move will be welcomed by residents, there will naturally be some concerns regarding privacy and their effectiveness. These cameras are getting smarter all the time and quite frankly, they need to. The UK has more surveillance cameras than any other country in the world, yet their success in catching criminals is woefully inadequate. In one famous incident a woman was dragged from her car into roadside undergrowth and raped. The camera, despite looking straight at the incident was unable to pick up either the registration number of the car, nor a good enough image of the attacker.
These smart cameras should be different. For example, they are able to recognize when traffic flow is becoming a problem and automatically switch the traffic signals where needed. In addition the High Definition of cameras now is making recognition a much easier thing to deal with.
Hopefully this will certainly have a positive effect on street crime in the hotspot areas like Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien. Being the victim of a phone theft myself there, it has to be a positive step. I am pretty street wise, but the girl who ‘bumped into’ me as I looked at a text message whilst sitting on my motorbike was clever. She hit me just hard enough to make me grab the handlebars for balance, and in doing so I took one hand off my phone.
A phone app will also be made available to residents in order that they can alert the city about security, sanitation or other problems. Deputy chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee, Le Truong Hai Hieu said, “The cameras will help police tackle street robberies and control traffic. Cameras have been installed in some alleyways in Pham Ngu Lao and Tan Dinh wards and have been very welcomed by local residents.”