Delhi Police’s unique CCTV exercise

The Delhi police is planning to  integrate over 1.8 lakh privately owned CCTV cameras to its control rooms to ensure they can keep a watch over the city, after they and the AAP government failed to add enough of their own. The cameras have been installed by resident welfare associations, housing societies and market associations.   The Delhi Police has only added 87 surveillance cameras in the last year, despite the crime rate rising by nine per cent in the same period. Adding CCTV cover over the capital was a big poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party government – which so far it has failed to fulfill.

Police sources said CCTV cameras have been helpful in cracking a number of complex robbery cases and murders where there was initially no solid evidence, so they are now mulling how privately owned cameras can be linked to police stations. A study was also conducted recently after Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik held a meeting with the senior officials to discuss preventive methods that can be taken to curb crime in the city. ‘Once all the private cameras are connected with the monitoring rooms of the local police stations, then concerned officials of that police station will be dedicated to keep a tight vigil on the footage 24/7,’ a police officer said.

Special officers will also be shortlisted by the SHO of each station and will be trained to scan CCTV footage in an effective manner, the officer added.  They will be provided data about prisoners out on parole, bail or recently released, so that their movements can be tracked, the cops said.

Meanwhile, all the police stations have been asked to analyse the crime trends in their respective jurisdiction. This analysis could become fruitful for the cops to keep a tab on a particular locality to avert crime. So far, CCTV cameras have been installed by Delhi Police in the Supreme Court, Delhi High Court, five District Courts, VP House, L-G’s House and the Home Minister’s residence. The police has also sent a proposal to allocate Rs 1,225 crore from the ‘Nirbhaya fund’ for installation of 10,000 CCTV cameras across the city.