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Upgrades to Decades-Old Surveillance System in Chinatown

Chinatown in Honolulu is set to receive a significant upgrade to its surveillance system in an effort to combat crime.

The city plans to install 52 new high-tech video cameras throughout the area, with the first cameras expected to be operational by the end of June.

Chinatown has been grappling with various crimes, including robberies and assaults, which have plagued the community.

In the past four weeks alone, there have been 90 reported crimes in the area spanning from Vineyard Boulevard to River Street.

The Chinatown Business and Community Association President expressed concerns about the high crime rate, stating, “We are a high crime area, you can’t get away with that.

We’re not gonna sugarcoat it.”

To address the issue, the city has devised a plan to install 52 security cameras at major intersections within Chinatown.

The new cameras will feature high-resolution and wireless technology, gradually replacing the outdated ones.

The installation will be carried out in phases, with two of the four chosen locations for the first phase being Kekaulike and Hotel Street, as well as Hotel and River Street.

Highlighted in yellow on the project map, the first phase will be completed within the next six months, while the subsequent phase, marked in red, will be added by the end of the year.

These key locations have been identified by the police as hotspots for criminal activity.

The entire installation process is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, and the responsibility for monitoring the cameras will lie with the police.

Business owners in Chinatown have mixed views regarding the effectiveness of the new cameras.

The owner of Fred’s Sundries Liquor Store, Ra Long, expressed skepticism, mentioning that previous cameras had been tampered with and not properly maintained.

He believes that criminals will not be deterred by the presence of cameras but emphasizes the importance of law enforcement responding swiftly to criminal activities.

On the other hand, Chu Lan Shubert Kwock, the Chinatown Business and Community Association President, hopes that the cameras will instill fear in criminals, knowing that their faces may be identified and the footage can be used as evidence.

The association plans to reintroduce a community volunteer program to assist in monitoring the cameras once they are operational, empowering residents to make a difference in their community.

The upgrade of the surveillance system in Chinatown aims to curb crime and enhance the safety and security of the neighborhood.

By implementing state-of-the-art technology and strategic camera placement, local authorities hope to create a deterrent effect and hold offenders accountable for their actions.

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