Mexico City authorities are offering a new security program that offers businesses in the capital’s historic center the option of choosing from four different levels of protection, but only one is free.
The free option gives business owners a mobile app that enables them to report crimes to police but the three more sophisticated levels of protection come at a cost.
Installation of a panic button costs 2,000 pesos (US $105), while two cameras connected to the C5 security command center come with a 7,000-peso price tag.
For shopping centers, there is a “Plaza Package” option, which includes 16 security cameras and a panic button for 60,000 pesos (US $3,100).
“The idea is to have a complete catalogue [of options] . . .in keeping with the purchasing power of businesses,” said C5 Command Center chief Juan Manuel García.
Presenting the new security initiative, García said the Mesones and Mixcalco shopping plazas in downtown Mexico City are already participating in a pilot program.
“We’re going to continue with the historic center in order to cover the greatest quantity of plazas in the shortest possible time. In those two places, the program is already operating and if they press the emergency button, the attention will be similar to what currently occurs with the [street] panic buttons . . .” he said.
If a business owner presses a panic button, both a strobe light and an alarm will be activated and security camera footage will be immediately relayed to the C5 Center, where security personnel will notify police.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum explained that the government will obtain the security equipment from a range of suppliers in order to avoid any claims of preferential treatment.
“We’re not orienting the program around just one brand of cameras or transmission equipment . . . We’re certifying different equipment so that the business owner can decide which to use . . .” she said.
The mayor said that together with other security schemes that her government has developed the business protection program “is going to create a much safer historic center.”
Ángel Mussi, a member of a historic center business association, praised the government’s initiative, describing it as a significant step forward for law enforcement.
It is unclear when the program might extend to businesses beyond the capital’s downtown area.
Robberies of businesses in Mexico City have soared since Sheinbaum took office last December.
There were 8,338 robberies between December and March, according to the National Public Security System, an increase of 54% compared to the same period a year earlier.
Source: Milenio (sp)