Police seek to monitor CCTVs in markets

Police seek to monitor CCTVs in markets

Police have been trying to convince resident welfare associations (RWAs) and market associations to give them direct and 24-hour access to footage from CCTVs that are installed by them.

“This will help better monitor and utilise the footage while saving the associations the recurring costs that accompany installation of CCTVs,” police said.

Some markets and RWAs have already granted permission for police to take over the control and the response from most others has been positive, say senior police officers. The lone roadblock has been the increased initial costs during CCTV installation which are to be borne by the associations.

Not all CCTVs at public places in the city are installed by police. RWAs install cameras in their localities from funds received under MP and MLA Local Area Development Schemes.

Market associations, under the Business Area Watch Scheme, do it by collecting money from shopkeepers. While suggestions from police are sought regarding the strategic locations of CCTVs, the associations have their own monitoring rooms.

After installation, the associations are faced with recurring costs such as employing two or more people to monitor the footage or even keep a watch on the control room, says Pushpendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West). “We have already have staff to constantly monitor our CCTV footage. They can monitor the additional footage, relieving the associations of any major recurring costs. Also, we have officers to monitor those monitoring the footage. So, there is no compromise on safety,” the officer tells Deccan Herald.

The M-block Market in south Delhi’s Greater Kailash was one of the first places in the city where the plan was implemented a few months ago and it has been successful so far, the DCP claimed.

If willing, the associations are told to upgrade the CCTV quality to bring it on a par with those installed by the police who are advised on the specifications by the force’s technical team. “The cameras installed by them need to be compatible with our monitoring system. That also helps maintain quality,” the officer said. That is where the roadblock appears. Being of a standard quality, CCTVs installed by police are more expensive. Matching those standards requires the associations to increase their budget or bring down the number of CCTVs.

“Some are not convinced and say the government must bear the additional burden. But we have been trying to persuade them that one good quality camera installed at a strategically correct location is better than several low quality ones,” he said.

A direct access to the footage will allow police to react quickly in case of an emergency and constantly monitor the developments in that area.

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