Junctions, bus stops, roads to come under 24x7 surveillance of cameras

The territorial jurisdiction of the city police will soon be extended to Kazhakuttam and other outlying areas bordering Neyyatinkara, Attingal and Nedumangadu taluks in the district.

City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham said the police had proposed the creation of new administrative sub-divisions to monitor the city better. The key recommendations of the police included the creation of additional Deputy Commissioner of Police posts to head the Control Room, Traffic, Law and Order and Crime Investigations wings of the City Police Constabulary.

They have also proposed a police station exclusively for Technopark locality, the Information Technology hub of the district.

The City Police Control Room would be further modernised and shifted from its current location near the Secretariat to a new five-storeyed building under construction inside the precincts of the Armed Reserve Camp at Nandavanam. The police would maintain the existing control room to provide security to the Secretariat, the Accountant General's Office and the District Treasury.

Important junctions, bus stops, roads and shopping localities in the city would come under the non-stop surveillance of police security cameras by September. The communications wing of the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (KELTRON) would implement the project, which was conceived for Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode cities by Additional Director General of Police and Transport Commissioner T. P. Senkumar.

The police said KELTRON would install 192 surveillance cameras in the city to help the police prevent crime and regulate traffic better. They said the security cameras were of high quality, tamper proof, possessed night vision capability and captured images in colour. They would be linked to the Police Control Room through a secure fibre optic network. Control room operators could pan, tilt or zoom the cameras at will.

The auto focus cameras could track and capture fast moving objects with “exceptional clarity” up to a distance of 500 m at night, including the registration numbers of vehicles.

Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose expressed the hope that the expansive security camera network would work as a “force multiplier” and enhance the ability of the police to detect and apprehend criminals (chiefly drug peddlers, pick pockets, chain snatchers and those who harass women in public places).

Inspector General of Police, Thiruvananthapuram Range, K. Padmakumar, said the cameras would instil a sense of security among law abiding citizens, chiefly women and children travelling alone. Potential offenders would feel a higher risk of being caught. The surveillance system would help the police optimise its manpower deployment.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the first phase of the surveillance system here on Friday.