To curb violence and increase monitoring in north Chennai the city police have begun installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in sensitive localities.
Of late, north Chennai has seen a spate of gang-related murders and other violent incidents, leading to protests by residents and demands for better policing. Senior police officers then held a meeting about a fortnight ago, and decided to install the cameras.
The cameras, costing between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 60,000 each, are being installed in bazaars, at the intersections of arterial roads, in housing quarters and in open areas such as playgrounds that are known to be habitual meeting points of gang members.
“We have already stepped up beat policing. That apart, CCTV cameras will help us in the surveillance of specific areas where violent incidents frequently break out,” a senior police officer said.
The bazaar road in Vyasarpadi, the junction at the Dr. Ambedkar Government Arts and Science College in MKB Nagar, Ashok Pillar in Satyamurthy Nagar and SIDCO Nagar junction are some of the spots where cameras have already been placed.
Neighbouring Pulianthope too, has come under the scanner with at least eight cameras installed in places including Basin Bridge, Haj Building junction and Jamaliya in Otteri.
Area-wise data regarding the activities of all known miscreants has also been collected and provided to special police teams that will monitor the gangs. More police checkpoints with round-the-clock surveillance at important locations including Satyamurthy Nagar Main Road have also been set up.
Police said the cameras, which are expected to function from Monday, would track the movement of history-sheeters.
“The cameras will help us identify the escape routes of criminals and block them. It will also help us locate missing persons,” said another police officer.