Bridgetown, Barbados -- The rumour mill in Barbados is turning at this time with regards to the installation of street cameras along the south coast of Barbados at this point.
The cameras are being installed by hydraulic lift vehicles from the Barbados Light and Power and therefore appears to be a public venture.
One of these cameras which is installed at Worthings, flashes whenever a vehicle passes, and is believed to be an automatic license plate reader (ALPR) for the Barbados Royal Police Force (RBPF).
ALPR would allow snap a photograph of every license plate that passes them by, capturing registration numbers on all vehicles. This will certainly put a dent in the prospects of those non-insurance motorists.
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition (OCR) on images to read vehicle registration plates.
These camera may also be employed for security measures as any vehicle can be monitored once it is part of a database, or not part of that database when these cameras recognizes it.
The fear is that Bajans will further lose freedoms as the cameras will most likely work with the Global Positioning System (GPS) to store in a database of that vehicle's location with time and date. There will be no where to hide from the authorities.
ALPR can also be used to automatically alert police officers of vehicles who are speeding to be prosecuted at a later date, when an offender is captured by the system.
Such a system has many advantages, but probably more disadvantages because this data collected can be used as evidence against individuals in their private lives.
One comment made at barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com, states that "Israelis putting up cameras for the Royal Barbados Police force. There is now a camera outside of Bubbas, Accra beach opposite cheffete, and Worthing Laundermat".
The government hasn't at this time that I'm aware stated in the public, that the cameras are being installed nor that they are being installed by Israelis.
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