| GEO World|
| 700 CCTV cameras installed for security in Makkah|
| Updated at: 2114 PST, Thursday, November 19, 2009|
MAKKAH: A public safety official announced on that 2,194 security officers would be deployed at the Haram.
He explained that the “high-tech” Operations Room of the force would be the nucleus of all security activities. There are 700 CCTV cameras to monitor the entire mosque and its surrounding courtyards.
“The force working in the Grand Mosque is comprised of 1,557 ordinary security men, 114 inspectors and 23 other officers, in addition to four high-ranking officials and 500 Makkah policemen,” head of the Grand Mosque security forces Col. Yahya Al-Zahrani said on Tuesday.
Special emergency forces and regular security forces in addition to battalions of military and National Guard will be posted to manage crowds near the gates of the mosque and in the mataf (the area of circumambulation), Al-Zahrani added.
Undercover police would also be deployed to “watch for any untoward developments” in the Haram, such as pickpocketing or other forms of theft.
Crowd control and missing persons’ reports would also be monitored from the Operations Room, he added. The officer urged everyone to wear his or her identification bracelets or badges showing their contact information. This is particularly important for children, he said.
“(Parents should) at least put their telephone numbers in their children’s pockets,” he pointed out.
For the second time, there will be Grand Mosque “stoplights” at the gates of the mosque: Red indicates that there is no room inside while green gives the go-ahead.