Mayor Sheinbaum tests the panic button. Mayor Sheinbaum tests the panic button.

40 grocery stores hook up to Mexico City’s security system

Walmart's Bodega Aurrerá stores were the first to sign up

Video cameras in 40 grocery stores were to be connected today to Mexico City’s C5 security and surveillance system to combat robberies and other criminal activity.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Thursday the “Mi Negocio” (My Business) initiative will give businesses the option to link their video cameras to the C5 system.

Walmart and Bodega Aurrerá, the company’s chain of small grocery stores, were the first to sign up for the new centralized security measure. Sheinbaum said that businesses that choose to connect to the government’s surveillance system will also receive a panic button which will open an immediate distress call to police, trigger an alarm and signal the C5 to record the incident.

“Why so many cameras in the city? Because they allow us to work toward a safer city. We need more, better-prepared and better-equipped police officers, like the police patrols we have begun, but video surveillance is a form of innovation and a way to use technology to improve living conditions for citizens.”

C5 director Juan Manuel García said the measure will not require public funds; rather, private businesses that decide to sign up for it will bear the costs of purchasing video cameras as well as hooking them up to the C5 system, starting at 20,000 pesos (US $1,030).

Police Chief Jesús Orta Martínez said such measures have been proven to reduce crime.

“When robbers know that these measures are in place, they don’t come near, and that’s what we want: to dissuade, to prevent the crime from happening.”

Alberto Sepúlveda, Walmart vice president for Mexico and Central America, said talks with the city government began after the retail giant was forced to close one of its stores in Mexico City because of the high incidence of crime. He added that the first 40 stores connected to the C5 security system will be those most at risk of being targeted by criminals.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Economista (sp)

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