Chennai tops the world in CCTV surveillance, says journal report

State capital has 657 cameras per square kilometre

Updated - January 04, 2021 03:08 am IST

Published - January 04, 2021 01:40 am IST - CHENNAI

Roadside CCTV cameras being checked in Chennai. File

Roadside CCTV cameras being checked in Chennai. File

Chennai has the maximum CCTV coverage per square kilometre and per 1,000 population among the 130 cities studied worldwide, according to a recent report published in South Asia Journal.

According to the report, the world’s first CCTV camera was installed in Germany in 1942, and now there are nearly one billion devices. The report maps out how prevalent the CCTV cameras are in 130 of the world’s most populous cities. “China and India are the countries with the highest densities of CCTV surveillance cameras in urban areas. Chennai, India, has 657 cameras per sq km, making it the number one city in the world in terms of surveillance,” it says.


City police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal said, “We have extensive coverage of CCTV cameras in the entire city. The presence of CCTV cameras is very helpful in maintenance of law and order and detection of crimes. It has provided, time and again, vital clues for investigation. We are hoping to extend the coverage... The Tamil Nadu government has sanctioned funds for maintenance of CCTV cameras. Under the Nirbhaya Fund, we are going to install more CCTV devices that will have connectivity with control rooms for live streaming.”

The installation of CCTV cameras gathered pace during the tenure of Mr. Aggarwal’s predecessor A.K. Viswanathan. He was instrumental in the installation of CCTV cameras with public participation.

“With the advent of CCTV devices, policing has changed entirely. In any crime investigation, the CCTV is the first instrument and handy tool to crack the case. Detection in criminal cases has increased,” said Mr. Viswanathan, who is now Additional Director-General of Police, Operations.

He said: “Without political will, it is impossible for us to achieve this status. Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had himself encouraged the project. We advised individuals, shopkeepers and commercial establishments to install CCTV on their premises, focusing on streets or public places. We conducted continuous campaigns in every area.”

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