Twenty two men were arrested for involvement in various theft cases at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this year. But the police aren't complaining for according to them the number of cases has come down by as much as 54 per cent this year.
However, they are quick to add that arrest of insiders in theft cases was a worrying trend.
“Airlines incur losses worth lakhs of rupees due to thefts. The number of thefts came down drastically this year due to installation of close circuit television cameras (CCTV) both at the domestic and international terminals,” said Udayan Banerjee, Commandant, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Last year 134 cases of thefts were registered at Palam and IGI airport police stations. This year, the number of cases has dropped to 73.
The domestic terminal is equipped with more than 150 CCTVs, while the international airport has as many as 200 cameras. Till July this year, 40 cases of thefts had already been registered with the airport police. But a fall in thefts was reported soon after CCTV cameras were installed six months ago.
Police arrested handlers, sweeping staff and even airline staff for stealing valuables from the baggage of passengers. “We analyzed camera footage and zeroed in on few airline staff who were stealing mobile phones and other things from the security hold area,” said the officer.
Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) also conducts verification of all the people working at the airport.