Kochi

More residential areas in Kochi come under CCTV watch

CCTV cameras installed by Lal Salaam Road Residents’ Association in Ponnurunni.  

Residents’ associations in the city are installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their areas like never before to keep tabs on anti-social elements and strangers, and to act as a deterrent against the dumping of garbage.

The footage from the cameras is also helping the police detect crimes. A few months ago, images of a motorbike from a CCTV installed in Chalikkavattom helped the Kadavanthra police identify a person who snatched the bag of a pedestrian and escaped. “The maximum number of CCTVs have been installed by residents’ associations which fall under Kadavanthra and Palarivattom police stations,” said D.G. Suresh, district committee member of Ernakulam District Residents’ Associations’ Apex Council (EDRAAC).

It was just a few months ago that the Palarivattom police nabbed a history-sheeter who was wanted in connection with a theft from a mosque, based on a CCTV grab. “It turned out that he was wanted in around 100 theft cases in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Installing high-resolution cameras capable of zooming into the face and also registration number of vehicles will be an added advantage,” said a police officer associated with the case.

That the footage from many such devices is monitored by personnel of respective police stations helps quicken the pace of response by the police.

About 10 of the 57 residents’ associations in Palarivattom have installed CCTVs covering different lanes in their area. They include P.J. Antony Road Residents’ Association, which plans to use the ₹3-lakh award money it got from P.T. Thomas, MLA, for doing commendable work in ensuring safety, welfare and cleanliness, to install surveillance cameras. “The first set of cameras was placed five months ago at an intersection. This tremendously helped keep anti-social elements at bay, especially so since criminal groups are roping in workers from other States to indulge in crimes. An estimate has been readied to install more such devices,” said Mr. Suresh.

Four residents’ associations in Chalikkavattom were among the first in the city to install CCTVs in their areas, said A. Ajith Kumar, former general secretary of EDRAAC and a resident of Chalikkavattom. “The decision was taken in consultation with the police. The CCTVs can be optimally utilised if the police monitor them throughout, since this could prevent crimes,” he said.

17 cameras

Among the associations having the most number of CCTV cameras is the Lal Salam Road Residents’ Association in Ponnurunni. A total of 17 surveillance cameras kept at vantage points keep tabs on the area where 165 families reside.

“Each member pooled in money, from between ₹500 to ₹3,000, to realise this project which was readied in three phases and cost a total of around ₹2 lakh. The footage from the 17 cameras is stored in four servers kept at nearby houses,” said P.G. Jayamohan, executive committee member of the association and district committee member of EDRAAC.

During the past year, the footage came in handy to nab a bicycle thief, a stranger who used to knock on the doors of houses at midnight, and people who illegally dumped garbage.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:41:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/more-residential-areas-in-kochi-come-under-cctv-watch/article33952373.ece

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