Security arrangements will no more be confined to railway stations and airports, writes S. Vijay Kumar

Security personnel frisking visitors and checking baggage through doorframe metal detectors, surveillance cameras and scanners… these scenes will no more be confined to railway stations and airports. Shopping malls, movie halls and the IT corridor will soon go hi-tech when it comes to security measures, thanks to the initiative of the Additional Director General of Police and Commissioner, R. Sekar.

As part of the security arrangements made following threats of bomb blasts in Chennai and other parts of the State, he convened a meeting of representatives from the IT corridor, cinema theatres and commercial streets. The objective was to sensitise them to the prevailing threat perceptions and how they could chip in to assist the police by taking precautionary measures.

A week later, the response was encouraging.

Many firms agreed to install surveillance cameras. While some ordered metal detectors others strengthened their security mechanism by employing more guards. The police gave a list of do’s and don’ts.

“This will ease the burden of the police. Such measures will serve as a deterrent to anti-social elements. Surveillance cameras will help to keep tabs on suspects,” says Mr. Sekar.

However, representatives of a couple of movie halls say too much of frisking or visible security measures may not go well with the audience. “Not many people coming to cinema theatres like to be videographed though many halls already have the facility clandestinely. Making visitors pass through metal detectors is a viable initiative,” says the manager of a movie hall who preferred not to be quoted.

At the IT corridor, most of the companies already have in place a mechanism where only authorised persons can enter their premises. Some firms are going a step ahead by contemplating Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) cards.