Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is becoming a Smart City. By upgrading its video technology system, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) aimed to reduce crime such as kidnappings, pickpocketing, vehicular homicides, and armed robberies, while going beyond security to help authorities manage emergency responses.
Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF)
750+ total, 500 from Axis Communications
Proficient Business Services, Bahamas
Between 2009 and 2015, Nassau in the Bahamas experienced a significant increase in criminal activity and hit-and-run accidents. The city’s video surveillance system, installed in 2012, needed expanding to help the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) more effectively monitor and respond to the upsurge of incidents.
In early 2020, the Ministry of National Security of the Bahamas began scaling out its existing Milestone XProtect video management system. Milestone’s open platform, data-driven video technology is flexible thanks to its compatibility from a wide support of hardware and software vendors.
The city’s upgrade led to redesigning the network infrastructure and adding over 500 high-quality network video cameras from Axis Communications. The project involved several Milestone technology partners, including servers from Rasilient Systems, and video analytics applications such as License Plate Recognition (LPR) and facial recognition from BriefCam. ShotSpotter, the gunshot detection sensor from SoundThinking, was also integrated.
The upgraded video technology is helping the police monitor and address a range of incidents around the city. This includes monitoring and prevention of potential criminal activity, tracking vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents, elevating external security for government ministries, and assisting with the enforcement of pandemic-related lockdowns.
“There are known criminal hotspots across the city that people of interest frequent, such as the surroundings of the Prime Minister’s home," said installing partner Ethan Munnings, CTIO at Proficient Business Services, Bahamas.
To curb incidents in those areas and to better track and monitor suspects, gain situational awareness, and help locate or identify people after leaving the scene, the RBPF added system infrastructure and hundreds of new IP-video cameras to increase police presence.
Munnings explained that redesigning the network infrastructure was essential to bringing all the data feeds to the city’s new Real-Time Crime Center. Located at police headquarters, operations began in early 2021 as a technology hub for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
“Nassau authorities are very happy with Milestone’s VMS because of its reliability, ease of use, and its compatibility with multiple hardware and software vendors,” added Munnings. “For this upgrade, we brought together integrators certified in the installation and operation of Milestone software. We had a fiber team and a wireless group tasked with getting the infrastructure in place, and we had another unit configuring and installing the cameras. The flexibility of Milestone’s VMS made this all very easy.”
The video tech is also applied beyond security: the RBPF is monitoring traffic accidents and keeping drivers accountable for their actions. According to Nassau’s Eyewitness News, there were 69 traffic-related deaths in 2018. After a 30 percent increase in 2017 and 2018, authorities pledged to decrease the number of traffic fatalities and accidents -- and video technology is helping. In 2019, fatal traffic incidents dropped to 33 in the region.
According to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas’ 2022 census, the population count was 399,314. It is one of the main tourist destinations in the Caribbean, welcoming around seven million visitors yearly. The City of Nassau is the center of commerce, law, administration, education, and media for the Bahamas. The Royal Bahamas Police Force employs over 3,000 officers and provides policing, safety and security services to residents and visitors.