This recommendation was made after the council’s initial suggestion of assigning security guards in residential areas given to Muscat Municipality was deemed too costly, said Salem Al Fouri, a member of the Municipal Council from Al Seeb.
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“These authorities did not respond to the plans of security guards in buildings, because one building may require more than one security guard and not all buildings have the same numbers of flats, or are of the same height so this means that owners of smaller buildings would be required to pay salaries ranging from OMR300 to OMR500 for each guard, and this will reduce the amount they ultimately make from the rent money they collect from residents, which also depends on the number of occupants in the building,” Al Fouri said.
“The Muscat Municipal Council then discussed the possibility of asking the owners of commercial buildings and residential complexes to place surveillance cameras in all corridors, entrances and exits of buildings to monitor crimes. This plan will make it easier for security services to detect crimes, and track down the perpetrators,” he explained.
“The recommendation to install security cameras is at least a temporary action that we can take for now, until we hear from the authorities about the designation of security guards,” said Al Fouri. “Having these cameras, along with the security guards in the future, would further help to limit the spread of crime in Muscat.”
“Muscat Municipal Council submitted its recommendations to the authorities and forwarded them to the General Secretariat of Muscat Municipal Council, so that those involved can study them and take the decision to make it mandatory for all commercial building owners as well as proprietors to install surveillance cameras,” he added.
The move was welcomed by tenants in apartments as well as shopkeepers in the capital.
Mohsen Al Kharrousi, who owns an electronics store in Qurum, said,
“We are not here all the time, and although Oman is a very safe place, it is only natural to worry about the state of our shops when it is closed, for example, because that is when they are potentially vulnerable to outside activity. Installing CCTV cameras makes sense because they are relatively inexpensive, add an additional sense of security, and the footage on the camera can be reviewed at any time so we can look at any incidents that have taken place in and around our shops.”
Lubna Qamar, a Jordanian resident added, “Earlier people used to come to the building just to trouble the residents. They would ring our doorbell and run away, but the building operators took the decision to install cameras and an automated entry and exit system which can only be activated from inside the building, and this has made it far safer.”
I hope this is brought into other residential areas as well.”
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