Odisha Police Caught With Limited Digital Surveillance – The New Indian Express
Express press service
BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government may have emphasized the use of technology as part of its 5T initiative, but the state police are struggling with limited digital surveillance. According to the latest Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) report on police organization, Odisha Police has only 780 CCTV cameras.
Compare that with police forces in neighboring states which have far more CCTV cameras. Andhra Pradesh Police has 20,968 CCTV cameras and Telangana has 2.82 lakh cameras. Tamil Nadu Police have more than 1.5 lakh CCTV cameras. Even Chhattisgarh Police have 2,296 CCTV cameras while Jharkhand and West Bengal have 1,103 and 7,663.
For a developing state like Odisha, CCTV technology today is clearly an integral part of policing, investigating and fighting crime. Various crimes related to road rage, snatch, murder and molestation can be solved by CCTV camera footage.
If CCTV cameras are equipped with cutting-edge technology like facial recognition system, they can act as the eyes of police forces and help them stay one step ahead of criminals. Besides deterrence, CCTVs help with post-crime analysis and determining the sequence of events. They can also be useful to the police in determining the escape route of criminals.
“The Odisha Police have adequate CCTV cameras especially in towns like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Berhampur. In some places where there are no police cameras, the feed is obtained from the CCTVs of the municipal corporations. They are also collecting footage from police cameras,” police director general Sunil Kumar Bansal said.
A senior police officer pointed out that many CCTV cameras in Puri were damaged after an extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani, hit the coast of Odisha in May 2019. There are plans to revamp CCTV surveillance in Puri ahead of Rath Yatra this year, the DGP added.
Former CEO Gopal Chandra Nanda said Odisha police should match CCTV surveillance from other states. “Video surveillance is very important, especially in sensitive areas. Although it has not yet been established whether CCTV cameras act as a deterrent to crime, a realistic assessment of police manpower is urgently needed,” he added. Apart from the increase in crime, another cause for concern is the increase in traffic accidents in the state which are responsible for speeding and drunk driving.
However, Odisha Police are only equipped with 18-speed pistols and 1,100 breath analyzers to check for speeding and drunk driving offences. While police forces in neighboring Andhra Pradesh have 85 rapid pistols and 1,814 breath analyzers. Odisha government’s police modernization budget for the financial year 2020-2021 was Rs 127.39 crore but only Rs 10.47 crore was spent on it.