GIS – 21 July 2020: The wearing of face masks has not per se impacted on the effectiveness of policing operations as the Safe City cameras are being used for the prevention and detection of crimes based on live information on the ground, management of traffic and prompt response to public requests and emergencies.’ The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, was replying, this morning, to a parliamentary question at the National Assembly, in Port Louis.
However, he acknowledged that it may partially impact on the identification of suspects regarding facial recognition. Nevertheless, the footages are still useful during police investigation as besides facial identification, there are other features and details which can be retrieved that can assist the Police in identifying the suspects though they are wearing protective face masks, he indicated.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that identification evidence is not obtained exclusively by facial recognition. If such evidence is of a poor quality, the Police has recourse to other modes of identification through: Victims/witnesses; Samples (for example: urine, blood, saliva, vaginal fluid, hair or hairs, semen); Fingerprints and footprints identification; Use of Tracker dog; Photo electronically fit; and, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).
Speaking about the Safe City cameras, Mr Jugnauth recalled that these are equipped with necessary attributes which can provide adequate information for the identification of suspects even if they are wearing protective masks. These attributes include the high definition footages, infrared and Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) cameras.
For the Prime Minister, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mauritius like other countries in the world, is faced with an unprecedented situation and it was vital and expedient to take appropriate sanitary measures to protect the population from this invisible enemy. Therefore, wearing of protective masks to protect the population from the disease is vital, while the Safe City camera, is a must to ensure public safety and security, he explained.