By: Joseph Benny

MUSCAT: Thinking of an evening at a drinking outlet with buddies? Mind your behaviour, for you are being watched.

All such outlets have installed CCTV cameras in a stricter enforcement of ROP’s rule in this regard. Besides monitoring arriving and leaving guests, cash dealings and car parks, the cameras help prevent brawls and misbehaviour within and outside the premises.

All major hotels in the city had installed the cameras immediately after the rule was introduced. ROP officials say that its sleuths can demand to study the footage without prior notice. Checking is carried out regularly and the CCTVs at such outlets will help in bringing down crime even further, the ROP has said.

“CCTVs have helped reduce brawls and crimes at drinking outlets. These cameras are meant for the safety of customers and staff. Since customers are aware that they are being monitored, there is decorum and decency on the premises,”said Biju Nirmal, a senior management official at Ruwi Hotel. “Cameras also allow us to check and re-examine any untoward incidents reported during working hours.”

The manager of an outlet on Rex Road said that the rule was introduced a few years ago, but the police has been enforcing it strictly for the past few months. “All drinking outlets have CCTV cameras,” he said.

Some customers, however, are not happy with the ‘watching’. “CCTV cameras may have helped curb crimes by monitoring anti-social elements. But since they capture images of guests, it could amount to breach of privacy,” said a Muttrah resident.