Saudi Arabia to launch new surveillance center: Report

Saudi Arabia is planning to launch a new security surveillance center, staffing it with hundreds of foreign-trained personnel, a report says.

The National Center for Joint Security Operations, based in Mecca Province, will monitor security via 18,000 surveillance cameras, which will be “linked to smart applications,” the Saudi Gazette daily reported on Sunday.

It also said that 1,600 officers trained overseas and fluent in English will manage and operate the center, which will need 400 people on every shift.

The Saudi newspaper did not specify where the officers had been trained and when the center will officially open, but said the Road Security Control, a section of the broader center, is already operating from the new premises.

According to the report, the center will have two giant screens, where images from the security cameras will appear.

Officials are scheduled to make “911” the number to call for any security-related problems in Saudi Arabia, the report said, adding that anyone who calls will be passed to the new security hub “within seconds.”

The center will replace the Command and Control Center, which dealt solely with managing security services, and will tackle all security-related issues in the kingdom.

Saudi security monitoring personnel failed miserably in carrying out duties to ensure the safety of thousands of Hajj pilgrims on September 24 last year.

A devastating human crush led to the death of thousands of people from various nationalities, including hundreds of Iranians.

The crush happened when two large crowds of pilgrims were directed to move toward each other from opposite directions in Mina, near Mecca, during Hajj rituals.

By Press TV