STATE OF SURVEILLANCE
In contemporary times, deployment of smart surveillance with evolving technologies like AI and analytics has assisted the law enforcement departments in curbing crimes
"As crimes are increasing day by day, the role of the Delhi government can be to install CCTV cameras at every street. RWA and police will get a direct feed of these cameras. The project of installing three lakh CCTV cameras has started," Manish Sisodia told reporters after installing a camera in East Vinod Nagar, which falls under his Assembly constituency of Patparganj.
The usage of CCTV cameras along with various AI software, has helped law enforcement agencies curb down crimes to a great extent. Police monitor the cameras to prevent crime and also to nab the lawbreakers. In some cases, CCTV cameras also bring out real facts of any allegations.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Range), Devesh Chandra Srivastava, told MillenniumPost that they are encouraging RWAs and MWAs to install more CCTVs. The cameras have multiple advantages. "It creates deterrence for criminals and anti-social elements. If any crime happens, they help in post-analysis to solve the crime," said Joint CP. He further asserted that CCTVs act as a piece of valuable evidence.
Earlier in July, a man was allegedly shot outside his gym in Civil Lines, Delhi. It is being alleged that the 30-year-old man was targeted due to a personal rivalry. Police succeeded in arresting the accused in a few days - courtesy to the CCTV installed near the gym.
In the same month, police arrested two individuals after a video of a man brandishing weapons and threatening shopkeepers in northeast Delhi's Welcome area surfaced online. The footage showed a man with a sharp knife-like tool threatening shopkeepers and vandalizing their shops.
In another prominent incident, three armed men robbed a 35-year-old businessman and his family while they were parking their car in Gujranwala Town. The case was highlighted by various media and yet again, the offenders were nabbed with the aid of CCTV footages.
In April, CCTV footages helped Dwarka district police to crack the murder case of a former IAF wing commander's wife at her house in Dwarka's Sector-7 area.
Delhi Police data related to CCTV cameras till April 14 revealed that under Nigehbaan scheme 2,291,29 cameras have been installed out of which 2,24,016 are functioning - more than 90 per cent. As many as 121 cases were solved with the help of CCTV whereas 16 cases were solved with the government cameras. In one of the recent letters written by a Delhi Police unit in June revealed that 1,368 CCTV cameras in Delhi are non-functional in different parts of the city. The prime reasons for these non-functional cameras were mainly because of non-maintenance or theft of the equipment. Among the non-functional cameras, around 445 was non-functional due to maintenance, 855 cameras were not working due to damages incurred by the third party including five government bodies. As of now, 68 issues of LCS/MCS burnt or under shifting, theft of equipment etc. are pending.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), DR G Ramgopal Naik, said that CCTVs helped them in solving a firing case at Barapullah flyover. "During the investigation, we found that one of the accused was involved in another prominent case and his footage was captured on an ATM's CCTV camera. Later during the investigation, we arrested the accused in the case," said DCP Crime Naik. The DCP also stated that in cases of people missing or kidnapping, CCTV plays a very important role and adds fuel the investigation.
"There are many instances when a person hides real facts about the occurrence. CCTV footage analysis reveals the event. Complainants sometime lie or accuse someone with wrongful facts. In such cases, CCTV proves vital in bringing out the truth," said a senior officer.
According to investigators of Delhi Police, if they are tracing some person who is in any particular area but does not have the exact location, they start scanning the CCTVs of the area. There is a high possibility that the person would be captured in one of the existing cameras of the area. Once located on footage, they check other cameras to ascertain the further movement. CCTV footages provide the possible route where the person is going. Tracing the accused's movement requires high attention and it is not as easy as it might seem to be.
At times in important cases, despite working 24x7, the process of scanning CCTV footages goes on for weeks.
Another investigator informed MillenniumPost that through footages of roads connecting two states, they have caught several criminals when they were on run. Revealing a probe, the investigator said, "We had a clue that a drug peddler has been visiting the national capital at a frequent interval of 10 days. We deployed our teams at several suspected locations. We got a clue through a CCTV footage that the accused had entered the city on a specific car. Details were immediately shared with an internal agency and they soon provided us with more footages of the accused and the car. Through the footages, we traced the vehicle's movement and successfully managed to arrest the pedlar." In some cases, it has also been found that after committing a crime, the accused ensures to destroy CCTV cameras and also took away the DVR which stores all data.
Police sources told Millennium Post that in a crime review meeting headed by Delhi Police Commissioner, Amulya Patnaik, a discussion was held on review and repair of dysfunctional CCTV cameras (new cameras covered under Nigehbaan Scheme). Sources further revealed the CP desired that this is one area where district DCsP should work on a serious note. They should motivate the MWAs to install CCTV cameras in their markets by public participation under Nigehbaan Scheme. There were also discussions to get the dysfunctional CCTV cameras repaired under the Nigehbaan scheme. In another meeting, the Station House Officers (SHOs) were given direction to constitute with the government agency in identifying hotspots in the city for installation of CCTV cameras as planned by the Delhi government.
The security cover of Sarojini Nagar market has been enhanced by Delhi Police as they are now also monitoring the activities inside the market through a centralised control room. With the help of the public, the law enforcement agency has installed 97 cameras at various strategic locations.
Recently in the city, the 'Red Light Violation Detection and Speed Violation Detection System' were launched. The new system has sophisticated 3-D radars and over 100 high-resolution cameras to track the presence of vehicles and violation of traffic rules. The cameras capture multiple offenses – Red Light Violation Detection (RLVD); Speed Violation Detection (SVD), Stop Line Violation, Wrong-Side Violation along with the registration number of the violating vehicle.
At crowded places like railway stations or bus stands, CCTVs plays an important role in protecting passengers to a large extent. It also aids in detecting crimes and anti-social behaviours. Several cases like baggage thefts, child kidnapping were solved upon scanning of CCTV footages of such crowded spaces.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Dinesh Gupta said that through public transport like railways or metros, several lakhs of passengers travel each day. CCTV's are very much important for maintaining order and security and prevent chaos.
"There have been cases when we solved some mysterious kidnappings. Recently, a husband-wife couple was arrested for kidnapping a child from railway premises. The CCTVs installed in railway jurisdictions captured the crime and produced clear shreds of evidence. We were able to nab them successfully and the kidnapped child was recovered from Ghaziabad," said the DCP Railways.
RPF nabbed two thieves within 48 hours with the help of CCTVs installed inside the train. In Kalka Shatabdi, mobile of a lady passenger was stolen from her coach when the train was at the platform in New Delhi railway station. Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Coordination), AN Jha, emphasized that CCTV is the most useful technology to curb crime in railway premises and inside trains. "RPF is detecting and arresting criminals through live monitoring and post crime investigation. It increases the efficiency of RPF personnel too as their actions are also recorded," said AN Jha.
High-resolution cameras must be installed to ensure that the footage helps in a speedy investigation. The government should have them in vulnerable areas identified by women themselves to curb down gender-based crimes, which has been regarded to be on the rise by various agencies across the national capital. If the entire city is covered, it will definitely prevent crime. If not, it will atleast help in nabbing the culprits and in delivering justice to victims. Delhi Police now have a supporting system that will help them in the investigation.