In order to bring down the crime rate to zero, the Chittoor district police have embarked on an ambitious digital surveillance project by installing 730 high resolution cameras in Chittoor, Puttur, Palamaner and Madanapalle sub-divisions. Nearly 60% of the work has been completed.
Speaking to The Hindu , Deputy SP (Crime) I. Ramakrishna said that the “cloud-based surveillance” could help police with multiple features, including facial recognition, video analysis and number plate recognition. The equipment had already been fixed at several important mandal headquarters and junctions along the National Highways. He said these high resolution cameras are in addition to the 850-plus cameras which are already functioning with the police department, several public and private firms.
The official said that fearing the presence of the cameras, criminals have started taking their operations away from the district headquarters of Chittoor, and other municipalities of Madanapalle, Punganur, Palamaner, Puttur and Nagari to rural areas.
“We are strengthening the digital surveillance in rural areas too, though it would take some time to fully cover all areas. In recent months, we apprehended chain-snatching culprits in many rural areas. In a few months, we will be able to cover the remaining 30%,” Mr. Ramakrishna said. The DSP said a series of meeting was held with bankers, petrol pumps, jewelry mart owners, dhaba operators along the national highways, educational institutions and even households at vital junctions to encourage them to set up the cameras on their premises.
“The meetings proved fruitful. We have cameras even in some narrow streets at many places now. In the future, this will help us bust crimes in a short span of time. The massive presence of the digital surveillance has also helped instill a sense of fear among criminals,” he said.
The gold theft case from a bus near Bangarupalem was cracked thanks to digital surveillance, leading to the arrest of a notorious Maharashtra gang, Mr. Ramakrishna said. The entire digital surveillance system would be linked to the command control at Chittoor, and this in turn would be accessed by the central command at Vijayawada.