The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cops eye roving spy for crime, car curb

Watch your step on some ‘sensitive’ streets of the city, Lalbazar is watching. With law-and-order problems flaring up repeatedly and reports rising of terrorists using Calcutta as a transit base, the city police are eyeing the roving eye.

Close-circuit cameras are to be set up at 45 ‘sensitive’ spots in the city. The cameras will be linked to 45 monitors at the Lalbazar control room, from where officers will keep constant vigil.

Sources said deputy commissioner (detective department) Soumen Mitra has prepared a blueprint of where the cameras will be installed. According to the blueprint, a copy of which is with Metro, some of the proposed ‘spy’ points are: the intersections of Fairlie Place and Strand Road, Hare Street and Strand Road, Church Lane and K.S. Roy Road, B.B.D. Bag South and R.N. Mukherjee Road, N.S. Bose Road and B.B.D. Bag South and North; the stretch in front of Writers’ Buildings, Assembly House, Raj Bhavan and Lalbazar.

Some policemen who travelled abroad recently said Scotland Yard and the New York Police Department use close-circuit cameras on streets to effectively monitor movement of suspects and maintain law and order. A team of officers is currently working out the logistics of installing the cameras, for which it has visited the American Consulate and the USIS to study the functioning of the roving eye from the control rooms.

“There are many hurdles to be crossed before implementing the technology, but we have taken the first steps in this direction,’’ said additional commissioner of police Sujit Sarkar.

“The roving electronic eye — an extremely small unit — will be placed on top of poles or on trees near the intersections. The wire from the camera will connect with underground cables linked to monitors at the Lalbazar control room. This will help us monitor crime and traffic better,’’ explained Sarkar.

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