How safe is your city? A simple question yet it haunts almost every Indian today. With the rapid rise in the horrendous incidents taking place in the country like rapes, thefts, murders, burglary, etc, safety in Indian cities is posing a big question to the government. In the midst of all this what can be done to help bring at least a sigh of relief to the citizens of the country? Powerful Surveillance is one solution which can (if not fully) help to a large extent.
What Exactly Is Surveillance?
Surveillance can be defined as a covert observation of people, vehicles and places by the law enforcement agencies or by private detectives investigating allegations of some sort of illegal behavior. The techniques used for surveillance range from physical observations to electronic monitoring of crucial data and conversations. So, now that the concept of surveillance is clear, let’s take a look at some of the core reasons why Indian cities require powerful surveillance systems today:
1. To Protect Women
On December 16,2012, the brutal gang rape of the 23 year old, paramedical student in a moving bus in New Delhi stirred mass protests across the nation and placed a new spotlight on the plight of women in the country.
The soaring incidents of sexual violence against women in India are hitting international headlines. India by large is plagued by poverty and riven by societal divide. Therefore to help protect the women in the country, government should take initiatives and come up with powerful surveillance systems, such as CCTVs, especially on public transports to ensure criminals refrain themselves from committing such crimes with the fear that someone is watching them.
For instance, it should become mandatory in metro cities to have CCTV in all sorts of public transports like buses, metros, trains, etc. In Mumbai, for example, it is now compulsory for auto-rickshaws to have GPS tracking devices which are to be used by law enforcement agencies in cases of crimes.
2. To Avert The Risk Of Terrorist Attacks
The arrest of Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal has once again served to highlight the role of CCTV footage in terrorism investigations. The footage not only helped the law enforcement agencies to identify Bhatkal at the German Bakery blast site in Pune, but it also helped in identification of other suspects through Bhatkal.
Of course, there’s no denying that after 26/11, surveillance tools such as CCTVs are increasingly regarded as indispensible equipments for security purposes, but the big question that arises is – Are limited numbers of CCTVs sufficient to meet unforeseen terrorist attacks? The government needs to gear up with more advanced surveillance systems as are used by the developed nations. Increased PCR vans with proactive officers and increased CCTVs surveillance systems are much required by the nation to curb increasing rates of terrorism attacks.
3. To Curb Down The Ever Increasing Crime Rates
The exponential rise in crime rates severely demands the need of powerful surveillance systems to be established in the country. Burglary, theft, murder, kidnapping is increasing becoming a regular section of news columns. What can be done to prevent all this?
Effective use of surveillance cameras can be made to watch out for such crimes being committed. We can also come across a possibility to stop such crimes even before they happen – only by keeping a strong eye! If any suspicious person is spotted roaming around in a locality, law enforcement authorities can become vigilant and take action way before any crime is committed. But this is only possible through powerful surveillance!
4. To Make The General Public Enjoy A Sense Of Security
In a nation where women, children or old people feel unsafe walking alone, knowing that powerful surveillance is around will help to create a sense of security around them. After all, no one wishes to walk into an area where they feel unsafe. Some people might also believe that there may be less chance that any crime would be committed if there are sufficient CCTV cameras and patrolling vans around in the area watching over them.
An example for the same comes from Mumbai’s Nehru Nagar in Kurla where cases of eve-teasing, molestation, assault, pick pocketing and housebreaking were quite rampant. All this continued until the area police finally decided to install close circuit television cameras in areas falling under their jurisdiction. the crime rates in the area eventually fell by 70-80%, helping the police personnel gain victory in controlling crime in their area.