The Transportation Ministry already uses a system of CCTV cameras to monitor traffic. (Antara Photo/Herman Dewantoro)

Jakarta to Step Up CCTV Installation to Curb Crime

JULY 31, 2015

Jakarta. Days after CCTV footage appeared to have helped facilitate the safe return of a child abducted from a Jakarta shopping center, the city administration has announced it will expedite plans to install up to 4,000 cameras across town and hook them up to the national database of electronic ID cards.

Iik Kurnia, the city's head of public relations, said on Friday that so far a mere 153 cameras had been installed under the Smart City scheme -- 87 by the government and the remainder by private companies.

Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama says he plans to install 4,000 CCTV cameras in all parts of the city before the end of next year.

"DKI [the city administration] has already received 4,000 CCTV [cameras]," Basuki said. "But the plan is that at least 2,000 will be installed by the end of this year."

Pointing to the recent abduction case of a 6-year-old child from a shopping center in Cililitan, East Jakarta, the governor said the system aims to lower crime rates. Footage of the abductor was recorded by a CCTV camera and widely shared. Within days, the child was released unharmed and found her way home in a taxi.

Facial recognition

Basuki said the CCTV cameras will be able to detect certain facial features.

"You've got an e-KTP [identity card] right? Well, faces recorded by these CCTV cameras will be fed into the system and we'll know who it is," he said. "All [authorities in] Indonesia will be able to know whether this person is registered [as wanted by police]."

"I've requested that all CCTV cameras can be accessed by police. That's better. So police can monitor."

Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat agreed, saying that Jakarta residents would feel safer once the new system is up-and-running.

"That's one of the functions of CCTV. If there is a crime, a robbery or a kidnapping, it can be recorded and acted upon," Djarot said.

The city will prioritize placing cameras in crime-prone areas, he added, and these will be hooked up to a central monitoring center.

"Jakarta will be a far safer city," the deputy governor said.