Mumbai airport security wear cameras to catch unruly fliers

An unnecessary argument with security personnel at the international airport over baggage checks or paperwork is not just going to cost you time, but will also land you in trouble with clinching evidence captured by body-worn cameras. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has turned to these cameras as the solution to an unwanted statistic — 15% of the 1,50,000 fliers who pass through the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) daily get into a tiff with CISF staff.

According to the agency, which manages security at 60 out of the 98 operational airports in the country, these cameras that also record audio will help nail rude or problematic fliers and even personnel. Senior officials said the cameras would also help resolve a dispute that might escalate owing to language barriers between passengers and personnel. After the success of a trial run, senior officials gave the green light to three such cameras currently used at the international airport in the city. Ten similar cameras, pinned to the shirt pocket, are also being used at terminal 1 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), New Delhi.

The body-worn cameras, which are the size of a small mobile phone, have 32-gigabyte (GB) memory. “We plan to get these cameras at other airports as well,” said a CISF public relations officer (PRO) from Delhi. A Mumbai CISF official said, “This allows security staff to do their duty as they fear that passengers could level false allegations against them.”
A senior airport official said, “The video proof can be used when a passenger complains of a CISF official’s misbehaviour on the civil aviation ministry’s online portal or to higher officials.” D Sudhakara Reddy, president, Air Passengers Association of India (APAI), said, “Though hidden cameras are widely used at international airports, the initiative by CISF is a good move as it will benefit both passengers as well as officials. Many times, a passenger gets into an argument over some miscommunication.”