Two more areas in Coimbatore will soon come under the surveillance of the electronic eye. The concept of surveillance cameras is fast becoming part of a security and law enforcement mechanism.

Talking to The Hindu, Shyam Jude of Analog and Digital Labs, said in any growing urban atmosphere, the police continue to face manpower shortage. But, lack of police presence should never be a reason for compromise on crime prevention or in law and order maintenance.

In Coimbatore City, the electronic surveillance system was already being operated in Oppanakkara Street and Cross Cut Road and now efforts are on to install cameras at 100 Feet Road and VOC Park area.

The cameras help the police keep tabs on movement of people and persons under suspicious circumstances besides habitual offenders and ex-convicts. It also helps in regulating parking rule violations and clearing traffic blocks. In fact, the cameras have helped in bringing down the number of bag lifting and two-wheeler theft incidents on Cross Cut Road. Police felt the need for having the vigil of an electronic eye at all places of public assembly but funds were an impediment.

Even after the occurrence of an offence, if it could not be prevented, the footage captured by the electronic eye would assist in locating the accused, rather than the investigators remaining clueless, a police officer said. The proposal for the installation of cameras have been, in principle, cleared by City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic), T. Senthilkumar and works relating to identification of places and planning have been completed.

Shyam Jude said that works will commence at a cost of nearly Rs 26 lakh after obtaining clearance from the Collectorate and Corporation authorities.

The works that would take nearly 45 days to finish does not require any State funds and will be carried out entirely with the support of sponsors.

Mr.Jude said the existing surveillance cameras at Cross Cut Road and Oppanakkara Street are wired and the ones to come up at 100 Feet Road and VOC Park would be networked on similar lines. But, the data captured in all the four places would be taken to the Police Control Room for real time monitoring.

While police co-operation was overwhelming, Mr.Jude said that depending on support from sponsors, installation of the electronic surveillance could be made in other areas of the city also.

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