At least three weekend holiday spots in the city will soon be brought under the law enforcement’s growing urban surveillance camera network. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Control Room, P. Bijoy, identified the localities as Shanghumughom, Veli, and Aakkulam.

As many as 223 cameras currently allow the police to survey a wide swath of the city from their central control room near the Secretariat.

More for Onam

For Onam, the police have set up an additional 49 surveillance cameras.

In the past three days, the round-the-clock surveillance has helped the police apprehend persons suspected of purse-lifting, shoplifting in textile shops, and chain-snatching within an hour of the reporting of the crimes.

Most of the complaints received by the police control room at 100 since Friday related to drunk and riotous behaviour in public places and traffic snarls.

In Fort area, the police repeatedly announced over public address systems that the locality was under camera surveillance. An official said the step was to instil a sense of security among shoppers.

The police have also recommended installation of surveillance-camera-linked automatic number plate recognition systems (ANPR) at all important entry and exit points of the capital city to track and intercept stolen vehicles and those involved in crimes. The systems were proposed for Kazhakuttam, Kesavadasapuram, Pappanamcode, and Kovalam junctions.

The ANPR is integrated with highly sensitive and night-vision-enabled cameras that can capture the rear registration number plates of vehicles moving at high speeds (up to 200 km an hour). The cameras, equipped with flash lights and infrared sensors, will be mounted on overhead gantries that cover the road in a single span.

The system has “optical character recognition” software that automatically enhances the images of licence plates.

The enhanced image will be transmitted through a secure high-bandwidth fibre optic connection to a computer at the city police control room or the police headquarters where it will be stored for a specific period.

Control room officials can find out the registration particulars of the vehicle, including ownership and make, by matching the captured number with those in the computerised database of the Motor Vehicles Departments of various States. The police can also input the registration number of vehicles involved in crimes into the ANPR system, which will then automatically send an alert to the control room if its cameras detect the automobile.