The mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, with police officers watching the video surveillance screens / josele

Almost 50 more surveillance cameras go 'live' in Marbella town centre

The entire project in the Costa del Sol town has a budget of close to five million euros

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS

Forty-eight new surveillance cameras are entering into operation in Marbella town centre, in the second phase of the project. Nine of them can read vehicle registration plates.

Since the first phase of video surveillance was put into operation in the Costa del Sol town, the 85 cameras have helped both the local and national police forces in the prevention and clarification of crimes and as evidence.

In total, five stages are planned with an investment of nearly five million euros, of which 974,000 euros correspond to this second phase, 80 per cent of which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

While the first phase included Puerto Banús and the Elviria and La Cañada shopping centres, in this second phase cameras have been set up in the centre of Marbella. The 33 locations include Los Naranjos square, Las Ranas, Monseñor Rodrigo Bocanegra, Caridad, África, Manuel Cantos and José Palomo; the avenues Ricardo Soriano, Severo Ochoa, Miguel Cano and Ramón y Cajal; the entrance arch to Marbella; the streets Trinidad, Ortiz Molinillo, Virgen de los Dolores, Ancha, Caballeros, Pedraza, Alameda, Huerta Chica, Peral, Alameda Sur and Norte and in the car parks of the Marina.

Faster action in an emergency

These are the areas with the greatest influx of people and visitors, in order to reinforce security and act more quickly in emergencies or traffic incidents that may occur.

Mayor Ángeles Muñoz, accompanied by the Councillor for Public Safety, José Eduardo Díaz, the head of the Local Police, Javier Martín, and the Commissioner of the National Police, Enrique Lamelas, indicated that this video and sensor subsystem has two objectives: to provide greater security in those areas with a higher concentration of people such as leisure and commercial activities, and to identify vehicles and individuals involved in incidents.

With regard to the number plate readers, Muñoz stressed that they allow "a control of traffic flow that provides officers with information to act in situations of problems or emergencies", while adding that this project "will improve the feeling of public and road safety, minimising the number of incidents, traffic jams and crimes against public safety".

Privacy

Police officials have emphasised respect for privacy and intimacy. Martín stressed that "it only records the public thoroughfare". The camera itself covers the image in grey when it detects that "there may be a balcony or a private home, to guarantee people's privacy".

The head of the local police stated that this system is an essential tool "for effective action by officers when there are incidents, thanks to the fact that the images reach us in real time, so we can reduce costs and time when acting in any emergency situation", a statement also shared by the commissioner, who stressed that video surveillance "is an important deterrent to crime and prevention".