The Delhi Police plan to install software in closed-circuit television cameras to detect gunshots, a move the force believes could help it react promptly when terrorists or criminals strike by providing precise location of the firing.
The software will alert the police control room in case of firing in the area where a camera has been installed. Its sensors get activated by loud bangs, and transmitters can determine the number of shots fired. The software will allow the camera to zoom in the direction from where the shot has been fired.
The software can also locate baggage lying unattended for over three minutes and alert the police.
Although the majority of Delhi's markets and borders have public cameras, only those in 32 markets and four borders are connected to the central control room of the police. The force, therefore, plans to begin the process of connecting all cameras with the control room to make their efforts more effective.
"(There is) no point in having the latest software if the cameras are not connected with the central control room. We need to have a common control room first, so that the entire city can be accessed from one room. The cameras will not only send an alert after a gunshot but also zoom in to the baggage lying unattended for more than three minutes. All these things will help in thwarting criminals," a senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity.
Sources said the system had been tested widely and proven to detect gunshots in crowded markets. "This technology could play a huge role in minimising the causality during any kind of attack. By the time an assailant fires the second shot, we will be able to see his activity," the official added.
A senior police officer said similar sensors had been installed in the US, where gun crime was very high.
The police plan to initially install the software in the cameras already put up in - what they call - "VVIP" areas.