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Audit Office Says a Number of Street Surveillance Cameras Don’t Work

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, June 18
Georgia’s State Audit Office (SAO) has examined the response of the Patrol and Regional Police for the violations revealed on the roads and assessed that a large number of street surveillance cameras do not work.

The SAO underlined that a number of cameras out of the 1100 installed are technically faulty or do not work at all. As for the remaining cameras, that work, the operators control and monitor only a small part of them.

In order to fully control streets, the MIA needs 3000 smart cameras in total. However, the SAO says only up to 100 cameras have been bought and installed so far after spending Gel 7.7 million, allocated by the Finance Ministry.

Sophio Dvalishvili, Head of the SAO Audit Department, says that the cameras are monitored by special operators who cannot supervise more than 50 cameras at the same time.

“This is a very small amount of cameras, as a lot of violations of road rules happen every minute. Some cameras do not work at all, or some broke down and have been replaced,” she told Rustavi 2 TV.

Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) confirmed that a number of the cameras do not work, however, they assure the faulty cameras are always replaced or repaired.

Director of Joint Operational Center of the Interior Ministry, Giorgi Arsoshvili says that the center repairs faulty cameras immediately.

“Old cameras, which are installed on the roads, will be replaced by new ones by the end of the year,” he added.

Furthermore, the audit revealed that the police are not fully equipped and they do not have radar speed guns, a device used to measure the speed of moving objects. Also, the report reads that the police fail to effectively respond to traffic rules violations.

The report underlined that the executive mechanism of fines is also weak, adding 25-30% of violators do not pay imposed fines.

The Head of the NGO Georgian Transport and Roads Association Davit Meskhishvili says millions are unreasonably spent on road system regulations from the state budget.

“Patrol Police fails to effectively control violator drivers, and even if they fine people, the state sometimes fails to make these people pay fines, which negatively affects the state budget and creates a feeling of impunity in the society,” he stated.

Smart cameras were first activated on November 1, 2017.

Such cameras detect violations and automatically send information to the Joint Operations Center about vehicles that violated traffic rules.