Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Hyderabad traffic cops to sport body cameras
Hyderabad traffic cops could soon go the Singapore way and sport body cameras while on duty as part of the government's elaborate plans to usher in new-age policing in Hyderabad.
City traffic cops could soon go the Singapore way and sport body cameras while on duty as part of the government's elaborate plans to usher in new-age policing in Hyderabad. Impressed with modern policing methods adopted in Singapore during his August visit there, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made several suggestions for the police force, and body cameras for cops was one gadget that caught the fancy of director general of police (DGP) Anurag Sharma.
Following the CM's sug gestions, Hyderabad police studied policing practices in Singapore and decided to im plement the body wear camera practice immediately , which essentially means cops sitting in a central con trol room would monitor the con versation between a traffic cop and a denizen.
Ten days ago, the city police be gan a pilot project with Chandrasek har Reddy , a sub inspector of Saifa bad traffic police station, who was given a camera to check its effi cacy while discharging traffic duties. "Since I began using the camera, most traffic violators stopped dropping names of influential persons. Al most all the offenders immediately paid the fine whenever I explained about the camera and that the entire conversation was being recorded," Reddy told TOI.
"Even during Ganesh immersion procession near Ambedkar statue, I was able to regulate traffic with just three constables as all truck drivers left the area after immersion and obeyed the orders when told that the vehicle registration number has been recorded in the camera," the SI said.
Bouyed with similar success stories elsewhere, the police department is keen to implement the Rs one crore project and give body cameras to all field staff.
"By wearing a camera, the on-duty performance of a police officer can be monitored and the footage can also work as evidence. Our aim is to expand the body camera project to the entire field-level police per sonnel soon," said DGP Anurag Sharma.
The high resolution audio-visuals re corded in the camera are stored in a memo ry card and can be seen live from the police control room through 4G technology.
Each body camera, costing Rs 1.5 lakh, would be effective even during night, Sharma said. The city police are initially planning to purchase about 100 cameras after the pilot study is over.
According to Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy, the usage of body cameras will bring in transparency and accountability in policing and also provide crucial evidence in case of any complaint from either the police or the citi zens.
"After the body wear cameras, we are al so planning to install cameras in all the pa trolling vehicles and all of them will be con nected to the main CCTV surveillance monitoring facility at the control room," Mahender Reddy added.