The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 22 , 2014
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Cops on safety-first mission
Cameras to watch remote corners

Police have resorted to technology for a safer city this year.

The 24-hour camera surveillance not only covers citizens but also the men in khaki for better policing.

While some of the cameras can look for suspicious objects, some others are capable to take a 360-degree round scanning of each street corner. For the rogue drivers, a few have been installed to read a vehicle’s registration number making their identification quite easy.

To sum it up, a full-fledged state-of-the-art control room is already operational and will be formally inaugurated soon.

With a total of 140 CCTV cameras being installed in the city as part of the surveillance plan, police sources told The Telegraph that the control room, which has been set up to monitor moving images at the police hospital premises, has the most modern technology available in the country.

The cameras, which have made tracking an easy job, have also made the cops on field alert, as they now know that the eyes are staring at them always whenever they are on duty.

“The control room is very modern and has all every kind of facility. It will be formally inaugurated by senior police officers very soon. We can only say that there are around 30 screens and monitoring of different areas of Patna is being done at present. This is apart from the screens, which are at the SSP’s office. Only a few areas are not covered by the CCTV cameras. Soon, 20 more cameras will be set up and the total number will reach 160. They have been set up in different areas of the city till Fatuha,” a police officer said.

The police started installing CCTV cameras in 2012 with four at Dakbungalow roundabout, Patna Junction roundabout, Exhibition Road roundabout and Income Tax roundabout. “It was just the start and these cameras got operational from early 2013. Now, there are different kinds of cameras, which have come up also. Most of the newly installed ones are the ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, which can easily read and record the registration number of vehicles thus making tracking an easier task. All these cameras have recording facilities and can work for at least 12 hours without power backup,” the officer added.

In a brief talk, senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said: “Though many details cannot be shared for security reasons, the installation of the cameras has helped us a lot,” he said.

Sources added that the Dial 100 service had been upgraded too. “The monitoring is being done round the clock with a GPS system. If anyone calls up and reports an incident, the area is checked by the CCTV camera and action is taken immediately. In end-December last year, two members of Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district-based gang from Patna Junction were arrested with the help of the CCTV cameras. The cameras also keep a tab on the policemen on field duty also. Now, the cops cannot afford to just sit in one corner and relax and they know that the cameras are in place,” another police officer said.

A week back, Maharaaj suspended an officer at the Kotwali police station as he was not present in the vehicle, which had been asked to go to Income Tax roundabout to check why a stationary four-wheeler was blocking traffic. The SSP had seen the vehicle on one of the screens installed in his office. But the police jeep had the driver and constables but not the officer.

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