C4I key to handling bus crisis

The use of CCTV cameras, which were installed as part of the C4I surveillance system for the Olympics, was key to the operation of safely defusing last week’s bus hijacking, Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told Sunday’s Kathimerini. «I cannot predict to what extent the outcome would have been different had this system not been activated,» the minister said. «I can say that it gave us the ability to plan minute by minute, based on specific facts. Otherwise we would have been planning based on assumptions, which is not the best way to handle a crisis.» The cameras, installed on Marathonos Avenue, where the bus came to a stop, were switched off after the Games following a ruling by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority. The government obtained special permission to reactivate them to monitor the hijacking. Voulgarakis seized the opportunity to call for police to have permanent access to the CCTV system. «I believe this technology should be at the service of the authorities… when it does not infringe on citizens’ privacy,» he said.