Saudi Arabia is gearing up to launch a new security surveillance center in Mecca Province to monitor over 18,000 security surveillance cameras linked to smart applications. The security cameras will protect all the Hajj Pilgrims who are planning to visit the sacred place.
On September 24, 2015, the security personnel at Mecca failed miserably in carrying out their duties to ensure the safety of thousands of 3 million Hajj Pilgrims. As a result, 717 people died in a stampede due to the failure of an electronic surveillance system used to control the crowd. The stampede occurred when two large crowds of pilgrims were directed to move towards each other from opposite directions in Mina, near Mecca, during Hajj rituals.
Now, in order to avoid such troubles, the Saudi Prince has ordered for a setup of new surveillance center, where 1600 trained professionals will be working in three shifts comprising 400 members each. From the past three months, the installation of over 18K cameras was being done. The video evidence will be retained for a period of 180 days i.e. 6 months after the pilgrimage. It is estimated that around 1.5 million people will be visiting the pilgrimage on daily basis.
From early next month, the integration of those installed cameras to the security monitoring center will be completed and in July the real time monitoring will begin. The center will have two giant screens, where images from security cameras will appear.
After the new security center set up, all 911 calls will be passed to the new security hub.