Kochi

Kochi police considering deploying more drones for better surveillance during lockdown

The arrest of 39 persons out for a walk in Panampilly Nagar in the early morning hours on Saturday was only one of the many instances in which the drone has detected such violations.

Buoyed by the impact of drones in better surveillance and enforcement of the lockdown, the Kochi city police may deploy more drones shortly.

At present, the city police has just a lone drone at its disposal allocated by the State Police Headquarters.

“Now many private players have come forward offering drone service for free. We are considering those proposals,” said G. Poonguzhali, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi City.

The arrest of 39 persons out for a walk in Panampilly Nagar in the early morning hours on Saturday was only one of the many instances in which the drone has detected such violations. A day before, two persons found fishing near Infopark were arrested with the help of the drone.

The drone fitted with a night-vision camera is deployed for two hours in the morning from 4 a.m. to trace offenders exploiting the cover of darkness to violate the lockdown. It is deployed along market areas around 9 a.m. to check for crowding and after 5 p.m. to track people still outside their homes.

“Till recently, we were only turning back people straying outside after 5 p.m. when most of the essential services were wrapped up for the day. Now, we will register cases against them,” warned Ms. Poonguzhali.

Banks stretching working hours

The officer said that there has been no relaxations in the lockdown except in the case of essential services. “Though the working hours of banks were extended from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m, many banks were found working even beyond that. Notices will be issued asking banks to function with minimum staff since many were found operating with full staff strength,” Ms. Poonguzhali said.

She said that those stepping out in the pretext of drawing money from ATMs after 5 p.m. will also be strictly dealt with since they could easily do so before that. “Also, people will have to avail of all services from groceries to medicines at one go rather than venturing out multiple times. Vehicle numbers of those found outside multiple times will be noted and action will be initiated against them,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:49:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-police-considering-deploying-more-drones-for-better-surveillance-during-lockdown/article31256394.ece

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