There is a lot that has been spoken about the installations of CCTVs for enhanced security measures. After the gruesome 26/11 attack a lot of emphasis was laid on the installation of CCTVs and while that was never implemented the same topic once again came up following the 13/7 blasts.
After the 13/7 blasts, the police relied very heavily on the Close Circuit Televisions that had been set up in the area and most of these cameras were personal ones. The daunting issue with these cameras were that they were not of high quality and the moment the zoom option was used to the fullest the image turned hazy which made it extremely difficult for the police to narrow down on the culprit.
The capital city of Maharashtra requires a minimum of 5000 CCTVs if providing security and cracking cases should begin to make some sense. Even the Ram Pradhan report after the 26/11 attack proposed that there is a requirement of 5000 such cameras in order to keep a proper watch on the entire city. More importantly these are cameras which have to be installed by the state government and the police department as they would have non stop access to the same at any given time. The quality of these cameras proposed were supposed to be very high in nature and it should have been able to provide a very clear picture upon maximum zoom.
However the city that has been a favourite terrorist hunting ground have hardly around 500 such cameras and most of the time the reliance is placed on the private cameras which only provide the imagery after an attack has taken place as they not linked directly to the police control room. What is most ironical is that after the proposal of 5000 cameras was made, the government managed to set up just around 150 cameras which are linked directly to the control room. The recommendation was that at least 5000 more cameras need to be installed in order to have some sense of security in such a large city.
What one realises while speaking to the police officials is that there is a big blame game that is on regarding this aspect. While the government had blamed official apathy for the same, the police department have been complaining about lack of funds. The Government feels that it is the duty of the police to ensure that these cameras are set up. While this is one part of the problem the other is the tussle between the crime and traffic wing of the police which is delaying this process. The government feels that the police department should also try and fend for itself in this issue and not always depend on the government for financial help. In cities such as Bangalore and Delhi the government has stated clearly that the fines that are collected for traffic offences need not be given to the government. It should entirely be used for setting up of police infrastructure which would include the installation of close circuit televsions. Now the traffic department feels that it should be the one spending the entire amount on CCTVs which would finally be used by the crime branch. They feel that other basic infrastructure that they would need would be compromised if they end up spending the entire amount collected by them in the setting up of CCTVs in the city.
While this is one part of the issue, post 13/7 what was found that even with the existing cameras on hand there were not sufficient personnel to handle the equipment, which was an indicator that the personnel were not given special training. In addition this the police department did not have access to the 4G network in order to ensure that these cameras function properly. The lack of a speedy network meant that there was a lag in the imagery. This meant that the police department had to work with low definition imagery since high definition cameras usually do not work properly with the kind of network speed that the police have access to. Moreover the use of a 3G network while operating high definition cameras have always failed in all parts of the world.
Police officials say that it has been mandatory for every establishment to have their own cameras. More importantly it is essential that these cameras are linked to the police control room so that there can be continued monitoring. However the private establishments feel that investing in expensive cameras would hurt their pockets and they would need support from government.