CCTV cameras of little help in solving serious crimes in Chandigarh

  • Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 23, 2015 23:29 IST

The much-hyped CCTV cameras installed at various light points in the city have failed to help the police much in solving crimes other than those related to traffic violations and mishaps. The UT police were able to solve two accident cases wherein the erring drivers had sped away from the mishap site and were later identified through the CCTV camera footage.

Interestingly, the police had floated a tender for installing 650 more CCTV cameras in the city.
The traffic police officials claimed that the city has around 100 cameras installed at 20 light points. The cameras footage is generally used to issue challans for traffic violations such as jumping red light and zebra crossings.

The data from the police department revealed that these cameras were helpful in solving two accident cases. An accident had taken place at the light point dividing Sectors 34 and 35 on April 17, 2014, in which a Mahindra pick-up had hit a scooterist, Kamal Kishore, a resident of Sector 32, who was killed. The police identified the Mahindra pick-up through CCTV footage and arrested its driver Balbir Singh, a resident of Sector 70, SAS Nagar.

In another accident that had had taken place on April 10, 2014, at a light point in Sector 38 (west), a cyclist, Jaipal, a resident of Dadumajra colony, got killed after being hit by an unidentified vehicle. The police identified the vehicle through CCTV camera footage and came to know that the vehicle was being driven by one Sushil Kumar Pandey.

The police sources said that the cameras were, however, of little help in solving crimes serious in nature, especially at night as there was no night vision in those cameras and the roads were not well-lit.

The traffic cops said that had been issuing postal challans to vehicle-owners for violating traffic rules after catching them on the wrong foot on the CCTV cameras. But in majority of such cases, the vehicle owners claim they did not receive the challan. The police then forward such cases to the court for further proceedings. The police claimed that around 36,384 challans were issued after finding the drivers violating traffic rules through CCTV cameras.

Senior superintendent of police, traffic and security, Maneesh Chaudhary, said the cameras were effective in taking the traffic violators to task as on an average they were issuing around 175 challans daily after taking the help of CCTV cameras to identify the culprits. "Cameras do serve as a deterrent to some extent," he said.

"We have database of traffic violators. If a person doesn't pay the fine for postal challans the vehicle-owner would be nailed as and when he or she is challaned on the spot. The vehicle-owner is then asked to clear the previous one with penalty," the SSP said.

The usefulness of CCTV camera's exposed

No clues through CCTV cameras in important cases.

On June 1, Nine bullets were fired by a group of four youths - Kamal, Harman, Jaspreet and Paramjit - outside the Score discotheque in Sector 8 after they were refused drinks by the disco's staff. The CCTV footage were of little help in finding out how they fled from the city.

The CCTV cameras couldn't identify the accused who has assaulted 20-year-old engineering student Karthik Gupta and snatched his Honda City car near Sector 49 in March. The accused had chased Gupta all the way from Sector 47. Though the accused were nabbed later.
On February 15, the SUV belonging to Karandeep Singh, the director of St Soldier School, SAS Nagar, was snatched from Sector 48 at gunpoint by a group of men. The CCTV cameras proved to be of no help as the crime took place at night. The police later recovered the abandoned vehicle from Karnal.

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