MONTEVIDEO – In their first year in operation, security cameras installed in the country’s capital have allowed authorities to cut crime by 50 percent, the Uruguayan Interior Ministry reported Wednesday in a communique.
At this time, 100 police officers are working on video-monitoring and, with the direct or indirect help of the cameras, so far 115 people have been brought to trial after being spotted committing crimes.
In the parts of Montevideo where video-monitoring is being used, the system has provided very satisfactory results, according to the director of the Unified Command Center, Robert Taroco.
“The evaluation is completely positive. An average of 50 percent reduction in the crime rates has been maintained,” Taroco said.
Video-monitoring is one of the key programs of the government of Jose Mujica, and the Interior Ministry is expanding the system to other parts of the capital and the country.
Lack of public safety is the main concern among Uruguayans, according to opinion surveys.
Nevertheless, simultaneously with in the Oct. 26 presidential election, voters rejected a referendum pushed by the conservative opposition to lower the age of legal responsibility from 18 to 16.
More than a million voters, 47 percent of those casting ballots, supported that measure but it did not garner more than 50 percent of the votes so it was not approved.