On the safe lane

On the safe lane

In the wake of incidents involving molestation and other crimes against women, the police department has decided to double up security measures in the city. The Bengaluru City Police will soon procure an additional 579 CCTV cameras to be installed at prominent junctions across the city. 

These cameras will be installed in a phased manner and the work will be completed by the end of the month.   While some citizens welcome the move to install cameras saying that it gives them confidence, others feel more police patrolling across the city would be a better option compared to having more cameras. Areas such as Bhoopasandra, parts of Electronic City, Nagashetty Halli, Sanjaynagar, Kammanahalli, Banaswadi and Koramangala (near Forum Mall) have already been brought under the camera surveillance. But areas such as Bagalur, Kothanur and Tata Layout, near New Airport Road, don’t have any cameras installed. Residents living in these areas say that both — installation of cameras and intensification of police patrolling — is the need of the hour.

Pratima Hebbar, a resident of Doddaballapura beyond Yelahanka New Town, says, “There aren’t enough cameras fixed in our area and even the police patrolling is inadequate. There are several dark and sometimes, poorly lit, stretches too. The police must concentrate on intensifying surveillance in such places rather than focussing on areas that are already crowded.” Pratima points out that it would also help if the cameras are monitored live rather than looking up only the recorded feeds.

People like Sushma Balu, a resident of Sahakara Nagar, says that the sight of a camera makes her feel confident. “With increasing instances of chain snatching, ATM break-ins and molestation, the presence of cameras gives people the confidence that someone is watching and acts as a deterrent to those wanting to commit such crimes,” says Sushma. Suchitra Vishwanathan, a resident of Bhoopasandra, says that the cameras must be maintained on a regular basis. “Cameras must be checked on a regular basis and the defunct ones must be repaired immediately. This is a task in itself but it has to be done,” says Suchitra. 

The rising crime graph in the city has provoked the cops to reconsider and redesign their patrolling norms. Bengaluru City Police Commissioner, Praveen Sood, informs that the additional cameras will come under the purview of the Law and Order Wing of the city police and will not be clubbed with the cameras used for traffic surveillance. “These 579 cameras will be used for monitoring areas that are vulnerable to crime. They will be monitored live from the Command Centre that is under construction at the Bengaluru City Police Commissioner’s Office. Any incident that is captured on the camera will be immediately reported to the jurisdictional police station,” says Praveen. He adds that the cameras come under the category of pan–tilt–zoom and are high resolution ones.

“We’ve also found that a lot of people have installed cameras just outside their homes. Resident Welfare Associations too have taken the initiative to get cameras installed in their respective areas. This is a welcome move,” he says.

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