“The only thing that does not need amendment in this life is Death”. On 21 September 2013, Africa and the world trembled in pain and anguish, when unidentified gunmen attacked the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
The attack, which lasted until 24 September, resulted in at least 72 deaths, including 61 civilians, 6 Kenyan soldiers, and 5 attackers. The attackers held hostages and later engaged in gun battles with Kenyan security forces. Over 200 people were reportedly wounded in the mass shooting, according to a BBC report.
Between 10 and 15 masked assailants attacked the upscale Westgate shopping mall fighting with armed police which continued over 48 hours. It was also reported that the gunmen carried assault rifles and wore combat fatigues while maiming and killing innocent citizens including our own kin, Professor Awoonor Williams (May he rest in perfect peace).
As at the time of putting these thoughts together, I have no information regarding the security systems in place at the shopping mall, and, one would have thought that such measures were adopted in the design and construction of this magnificent shopping mall. So therefore, I am tempted to believe that there were no such security systems (I stand to be corrected) in place as practised in other developed nations worldwide.
The necessity for people to invest in CCTV Cameras is growing, mainly because, criminal assaults are actually increasing each passing minute. Many investors all over the world have started using this technology as a means to improve security and safety of their client, and also, keep an eye on activities in their own property in order to avoid criminal offenses from taking place that could also ultimately result in loss of revenue as well.
Such security cameras are installed within strategic spots inside the building with serious monitoring rooms provided and manned by trained personnel, who are able to detect any threats posed in advance to alert security agencies. Having serious surveillance networked cameras installed in public places would help in many ways to avert catastrophes such as the Westgate Shopping Mall terrorist attack These heinous crimes against humanity at the mall would have been detected earlier if there were such measures which I believe were nonexistent. Even though CCTV surveillance systems installation in the initial stages could be expensive, one would come to agree that the cost-benefits analysis were much safer and better than not having it at all. This is an excellent means of preventing terrible things from happening within public places that might claim many innocent lives.
The case for Ghana
Most people would agree with me that Ghana is not immune to attacks of this nature, looking at the various roles Ghana play and continue to play in the sub-region and the world, and for which reasons, it would become an enemy to these questionable characters. The question therefore in the minds of many, is whether any of our public places and installations has such security surveillance systems in place. I am of the opinion that this is a clarion call, a serious wake-up call on institutions and the investor community to consider the immediate implementation of surveillance security systems in public places and business related buildings in the country.
Indeed, technologies keep changing, technologies have helped in many ways, and the use of security surveillance systems is just one of them. We need everyone alive, we cannot give any excuse and escape its eventual blame in the future, and we need to ensure every citizen is protected. Do we have a choice? “A stitch in time saves nine”.
The writer is a Management & Security Surveillance Consultant in Tema, Ghana
Email: [email protected]
Source: Hugh Aryee
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