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Hong Kong to install security cameras in busy shopping areas

Hong Kong's Yau Tsim Mong District Council has approved a fund of HK$400,000 (US$51,561) for the installation of four surveillance cameras in the bustling shopping areas of the Mong Kok district.

The initiative, which will see cameras installed on the roofs of Park-In Commercial Centre at Dundas Street and Hollywood Plaza at the junction of Soy Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street South, could be completed as soon as early February.

This recent move is a response to an incident last month when two bottles of acid were thrown down onto the pedestrian area of Sai Yeung Choi Street South, injuring 46 people. Nobody has been arrested yet.

Electrical and Mechanical Services Department engineer Sin Chun-ho said the images recorded by the security camera system will be protected from abuse with five measures.

He said that the cameras won't be connected to any centralized surveillance systems and will be locked in a water-proof case that can only be opened with two keys.

While a password is required to start the software in the system, the images will be encrypted and copied to a USB thumb drive protected by fingerprint recognition technology, Sin added.

He said that the images will be deleted every 10 days.

To avoid misuse by the police, the district council said camera footage will only be used for investigating major crimes, and with prior consent from the district council chairperson, the taskforce chairperson, and the district officer.

The district council added that the surveillance system could be extended to Temple Street or other areas in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok in six months if this first system in Mong Kok proves effective.




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