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13 June, 2024
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North to get security cameras next year

Big Brother 'zooms in' in the north as tender process for speed cameras is concluding in the south


A Turkish company is set to deliver hundreds of security cameras in the north next year, while a tender process for speed cameras in the south is concluding Friday with the aim of installing the first batch in late 2020.

According to local media, Aselsan Company is set to deliver to Turkish Cypriot police hundreds of cameras, including 342 stationary and 94 mobile operated cameras, as well as 235 licence plate recognition devices.

The Turkish Company, which specializes in defence software and electronics, will reportedly also supply 22 pan–tilt–zoom cameras, commonly known as “Big Brother” eyes that will be installed in sensitive locations in an effort to boost security and combat terrorism.

The deal will take place following a financial protocol signed between the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriot administration in the north, which was signed in September 2017.

Plans in the south stick to traffic only

In the meantime, a similar project is still ongoing in the south, as a public bidding process on speed cameras was set to end on Friday in the Republic of Cyprus. Media sources said an extension beyond September 20 was not out of the question.

The first batch of speed cameras in the south are expected to be installed in the second half of 2020, in various phases and locations.

It is unclear whether parliament can pass all necessary amendments due to fear of backlash over privacy issues in the south

Contrary to the north, the system in the south is being described as traffic-related only, with camera use aimed at focusing on speed and red light violations, detecting seat belt and protective helmet violations, running stop signs, and using a non-hands-free mobile device.

But while traffic police is pushing for cameras that would take photos of drivers from the front, in order to fine people who violate the rules, it is unclear whether parliament can pass all necessary amendments due to fear of backlash from the public with many people citing privacy issues.

A total of 110 cameras, 90 stationary and 20 mobile, are expected to cover areas with trouble spots and major intersections, as defined by data available through the Traffic Police department of the Republic of Cyprus.

Last year, police in the south installed automatic number-plate recognition systems (ANPR) in several of their patrol vehicles, enabling officers to scan the area and locate possibly stolen cars.

But police officers on patrols are also said to be scanning for vehicles registered to drivers who owe traffic fines, such as long due speeding tickets or a backlog of unpaid parking violations.

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