Big Brother is watching Ra’anana

Municipality says CCTV netwrok reduced crime by 18% during 2008, 2009.

Initial reactions to the 150 video cameras placed on the streets of Ra’anana may include terms like ‘big brother’, yet the city’s new security system has already decreased property crimes by 17.8% between 2008 and 2009.
The cameras were placed by the municipality to help identify offenders in cases of property crimes like vandalism and theft, and also to give emergency units the ability to watch and respond to a live event like a possible terrorist attack. By the end of 2010, the municipality expects to have 250 cameras filming the streets of Ra’anana.
“I can say that the cameras have allowed us to increase our ability to integrate, to see more and to read things more correctly,” said Ra’anana mayor Nahum Hofree.
The cameras transmit the video back to the city’s security center through Wifi signals, where security center workers can relay the information to emergency units.
The camera system was setup in Ra’anana by Root Technologies of NatunGroup and Line Beat. Ra’anana is one of 35 cities that uses theintegrated security system to safeguard its streets.
In other cities, Root Technologies has implemented the technology totrack a person around a city, switching between cameras, based on facerecognition.
“’Big brother is watching you’ has arrived,” said Ra’anana residentDiana Iilensky in a joking manner after being told about the cameras.“I don’t think it can do any harm, it depends what they use it for.”