General News of 2013-12-26

Accra Mall; A sitting “Time-bomb”?

A member of Government’s Communication machinery has expressed security concerns over the architectural design of the Accra Mall.

According to Samuel George Nettey, the Accra Mall which is one of the busiest shopping centers in the country, is sitting on a “time bomb”. His assertions stems from the fact that there are only two main exit points at the mall and that could pose a serious danger to visitors and shop owners, in case of any attack.

“…everyone would be trapped in there if those two main exit points are sealed off,” he stated on Metro TV’s ‘Good Morning Ghana”.

Mr. Nettey’s comments come on the heels of a revelation by NEAT 100.9 FM, about a month ago, which pointed to the fact that the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) that have been installed at the Accra Mall to monitor behavior and activities of shoppers and shop owners, in the bid to protecting them, are defective.

This came to light after one of the shop owners, who wants to remain anonymous, requested for a playback of the surveillance videos to help unravel a theft case. To his dismay, he was told the cameras were out of service after many days of asking.

According to the reportage, this brings the safety of shoppers and leaseholders at the shopping precinct in question but the General Manager of the Accra Mall denied the story, saying no such incident had been brought to his attention.

However, in a telephone interview Mr. Joseph Amo Mensah who admitted to NEAT FM that, surveillance in and around the Mall is not 100% effective because there are blind spots where cameras are unable to cover, stressed that security at the mall has been reinforced since the Westgate incident and the public safety therefore is assured.

But Samuel George Nettey questioned why “every inch” of the mall and shopping centers in the country are not covered by CCTV.

“…in other jurisdictions, you would realize that in such public institutions, there are blueprints available to people like the police. Such that when there is a crisis and the police in responding, know every corner in that building”.

He further advised for both an onsite and remote storage of the feed from the CCTV Cameras to prevent the loss of vital information that could lead to prevention of crime.