Plainclothesmen with concealed cameras, student police cadets and public-minded mobile phone users will help the city police spot crime better this Onam, senior officials say.
Over 80 plainclothesmen and women to be deployed across the city from September 8 to 13 for Onam festivities will carry pen-shaped concealed cameras, which can record video and audio for several hours at a stretch.
The plainclothes units have been tasked to apprehend chain-snatchers and collect evidence against those who pester and stalk women.
The police say that mobile phone users can help them by capturing the crime on cameras and sending it via the internet to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for further action.
Mobile phone users, whose devices do not have Net connectivity or cameras, can alert the police by calling the Control Room at 100 or 0471-2331403, 2331843 or 2321399.
The police will deploy an additional 120 cameras, 50 of them handheld recorders wielded by foot patrols for Onam. The police expressed hope that its security camera network would work as a “force multiplier” and enhance their ability to detect and apprehend criminals.
They say that the cameras will instil a sense of security among citizens, chiefly women and children travelling alone. Potential offenders will feel a higher risk of getting caught. Student police cadets will help the police manage crowds in shopping districts and at festival venues.
The police have declared the illuminated Vellayambalam-Municipal Corporation Office stretch an exclusive pedestrian zone between 6 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. on all days from September 8 to September 13.
People can park vehicles along the sides of the Asan Square-General Hospital road, PMG-Law College Road, Press Club Road, Saphalyam Complex-Jacobs Junction Road, Museum-Sooryakanthi Road, Museum-Nandavanam Road, Vellayambalam-Sasthamangalam Road, Keltron-Althara Road and the premises of University College, Sanskrit College, Jala Bhavan, Jimmy George Stadium, and LBS, Poojappura. Parking will not be allowed on roadsides at other places.