Britain’s premier investigative agency, the Scotland Yard, will assist the Mumbai police in its ambitious project of installing 5,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the city.
Highly placed sources in the Mumbai police told HT on Friday that a team of four technical experts from the elite British police were in city to showcase the electronic surveillance model, which is in place in London. The team held deliberations with the Mumbai police commissioner and senior police officials to explain the technicalities and benefits of their model.
“London has the most extensive and efficient CCTV surveillance system. We want to learn from their experience before implementing ours,” joint commissioner of police, law and order, Rajnish Seth told HT. “The interaction is just a learning experience. Our project would be fashioned as per our needs and necessities,”
After the November 2008 terror attack, the state government decided to map all sensitive locations in the city with CCTVs. A survey is underway to identify locations for installing cameras. “At some place, we might install 10 cameras while at others, there will be just one or two. It depends on the importance and sensitivity parameters of a given location,” Seth said. However, the list of short-listed will not be revealed. The project is one of the most extensive ones of its kind in Asia.
At present, the Mumbai police has a network of 150 CCTV cameras which are used largely by the traffic police. For surveillance at markets, malls, theatres and important installations, the police relies heavily on private cameras. The July 13 triple blasts came as a wake up call for the police as the footage from private cameras failed to throw up any conclusive leads.
Sources in Mumbai police said that the project would be launched after the construction of the Annex building at the Mumbai police headquarters near Crawford Market. The existing control room has no place to install the monitoring panels or to accommodate the staff required to man the network.