Ecuador: The Más Seguridad (More Security) plan looks to a consistent strategy

The Más Seguridad plan, which was suspended 11 years ago, has been renewed. On the 15th of August, principal security forces signed an interdepartmental agreement on the matter.

The meeting, chaired by the Mayor of Guayaquil, Cynthia Viteri, was attended by high-ranking representatives from the National Police, the Integrated Emergency Services ECU911, the National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT), the Guayaquil Corporation for Citizen Safety(CSCG), the Guayaquil Metropolitan Police, the Guayaquil Fire Department, the Municipal transit Agency (ATM), the Armed Forces, and the Municipal Department of Justice and security.

The reprised programme will be implemented with the support of the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Interior, the Crown Prosecution service, and the private sector. It is hoped that this interdepartmental collective will enable the organisations responsible for citizen safety, public order, and other areas, to work together for the common good. The objective is to promote a culture of prevention and citizen participation, monitor policy, and carry out regular assessments and reporting.

In the interest of improving safety, Guayaquil has volunteered resources, equipment, and personnel. Eight million US dollars have been earmarked for the purchase of 120 surveillance cameras. One of the strategies is to combine the government’s 1,100 cameras operated by the CSCG with the 500 operated by the Integrated Emergency Services ECU911.

Also anticipated is the purchase of 600 panic buttons for the “Amiga ya no estás sola (Friend, now you’re not alone)” plan, along with 600 bodycams (500 for the Metropolitan Police and 100 for the Tourism Police).  Finally, investments will be made for a new call-centre and a centre for facial recognition and video analytics.

The Ministry of the Interior underlined the fact that the plan is intended as a shock treatment for violence, drug trafficking, illegal mining, child pornography, femicide, possession of arms, etc. In Ecuador last year, more fatalities occurred in social circumstances than in criminal ones.

The plan will concentrate on areas or neighbourhoods with the highest incidences of criminal activity, such as the Modelo and 9 de Octubre districts, two of the busiest commercial areas in Guayaquil.

The Ministry of the Interior’s statistics show that this central commercial area has the highest rate of shoplifting. Between January and March 2019, there were 284 reported cases, constituting a 10.08 % increase on the figures published for the same period in 2018.

The Más Seguridad plan includes the establishment of integrated workgroups where businesses, journalists, academics, politicians, etc. can debate and put forward solutions and suggestions for improving security.

The workgroups will draft their ideas on how to improve the security services and judicial system, on the correct processing of information about crimes, overall support for victims, and peaceful coexistence.


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