If you jaywalk or run a red light in Ramle, you may suddenly hear a voice from above scolding you. No, it's not Big Brother or a higher power, but a municipal inspector who's been watching you from city hall.
The Ramle municipality has installed a surveillance system of cameras and speakers that enable inspectors to both track people and address them, in most cases to warn them against doing something illegal. The surveillance system is also working in cooperation with the city hotline.
If the civilian addressed fails to obey the city hall official, inspectors or police officers will be dispatched to the site.
Six loudspeakers were recently installed near the security cameras already situated in various locations around the city, in a bid to reduce crime and vandalism.
The cameras recently caught someone driving a Subaru breaking into a public park. "The inspector called to him: 'Red Subaru, stop,'" said David Haviva, city hotline director. "The driver couldn't figure out where the voice was coming from."
In another case, a resident who was about to spark a barbecue grill on the grass of Ramle's Haganah Park was also reprimanded from "above."
"The people are not alarmed by the voice, but surprised and amused that someone is speaking to them. They look left and right, searching for the source of the sound - and are generally filled with wonder," he said.
During every shift, an inspector is in charge of surveilling the city through the cameras. In the evenings and overnight, he is also responsible for any calls made to the hotline...