CCTV equipment to be installed in 200 patrol vehicles; will transmit footage to cops’ mobiles, tablets

Police patrol vehicles in the city will soon do more than just transport personnel from point A to B.

They will now become part of a surveillance network that will monitor and record all activity across various localities.

Following the success of mobile CCTV surveillance in certain parts of south Chennai, the city police have decided to install hi-tech cameras in 200 of their patrol vehicles.

The cameras, enabled with 3G technology, will pan areas the vehicles pass through or are stationed at, and transmit the footage to mobile phones and tablets of senior police officers.

This, an officer said, will enable them to send in reinforcements to police personnel at a scene of crime, as and when needed.

Political protests, crimes, obscene or drunken behaviour, brawls and several other situations can be monitored and handled far more easily than before, with this system, he added.

The initiative, which began on a pilot basis in February, was deemed so successful that the police department decided to take it forward, he added.

“The cameras will be connected to a router and will transmit data via a 3G connection. The footage can be streamed and viewed within minutes on our mobile phones or laptops through a special software. This will helps us assess the situation on the ground and guide our personnel,” said R. Sudhakar, deputy commissioner of police, Adyar.

The system, developed by an Adyar-based IT firm, was initially tried out on patrol jeeps attached to Shastri Nagar, Kanathur, Thiruvanmiyur, Mambalam, Kodambakkam and Selaiyur police stations.

Once it was established that the system worked, these vehicles were stationed at crime-prone areas and in localities where protests were staged.

A senior officer said that thanks to these cameras, the police were able to record most of the anti-Sri Lanka protests that rocked the city recently.

The system has also been used to monitor other law and order situations, he said.

“After the anti-Sri Lanka protests, police commissioner S. George made a recommendation which asked for the implementation of the mobile CCTV surveillance system across city police limits. In the police budget presented recently in the State assembly, Rs. 2 crore was sanctioned for this project,” said a senior officer.

The funds will be used to equip patrol vehicles in the east, west and north police zones.

The number of cameras allotted to each zone will depend on a number of factors, including crime rates, frequency of agitations and VIP movement in the area, the officer said.

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