DailyPost 1619

The proliferation of cameras like the wild fire is the only known and seen fact about about public domain video surveillance. How has it changed the security scenario remains unknown? The boards proclaiming under video watch might be is biggest deterrent for the law abiding / budding criminals and not the output these systems have provided over the years. The quality of footage and the comprehensiveness of video coverage of an area are parameters we have been struggling without great difference in execution and operations of the projects over decades. Post-mortem has become the fate of these systems and there also they fail more often than not. To prove its worth, few success stories are bandied around.

What is the return on investment? Monetary aside, what has been the comfort level increase in public spaces? Was it really meant to achieve that or it has just been a compliance issue or worse still that it has become a fad. CCTV is the most prevalent technology of the day but also paradoxically the most undiscovered one. If the level of knowledge of smartphone technical features, utility and usage happens in the area of CCTV, for sure our public spaces would become a hundred times more safe. Police and other agencies would be more comfortable with their jurisdictional areas and their ability to deliver services would increase immensely. Imagine viewing your whole jurisdiction on your mobile.

The scenario of camera in every hand has created a situation wherein the regulatory and investigative agencies get the videos on the fly, and the lackadaisical approach to this technology continues. They need the video but not the system. It should be accepted by one and all, that it is a force multiplier for regular policing as no other technology. It has be brought to the dynamic and real time level. Can we track all our suspects / criminals with recorded antecedents through this technology? We do our beat service independent of public domain video surveillance. It can also check the deterrent cops with finality. Can we not get the movements of the beat constables through this very system? The system does not differentiate between roles, we have to put the business logic into it.

How to increase the storage from one month to say one year has never been thought of. It would *help in both in criminal investigation* and also research into lots of area of police presence / behaviour and *methods of regulatory control over criminal elements* and other such areas. The first impact analysis is just underway. Video footage audit mandated by courts seem to be still a long way off. Bringing it to the preventive side which is so easily doable with data and technology both under our control, seems to be a few decades away. Public domain video surveillance is the only tool for a safe and secure India.


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