Gurugram: ANPR cameras, a tool for recovering stolen vehicles

Published on Dec 27, 2021 01:53 AM IST

Gurugram police have recovered at least 50 stolen vehicles in the last two months with the help of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed at 24 spots across the city

The cameras are monitored by police teams, which work in three shifts of eight hours each, and are deployed at the integrated command and control centre in Sector 44. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
The cameras are monitored by police teams, which work in three shifts of eight hours each, and are deployed at the integrated command and control centre in Sector 44. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Gurugram police have recovered at least 50 stolen vehicles in the last two months with the help of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed at 24 spots across the city. At least seven vehicles are stolen from the city everyday, police say, adding that this is the main challenge they face on a daily basis.

An HT team spent half a day at the integrated command and control centre (ICCC) in Sector 44, where cameras linked to traffic signals detect changes on the screen via light sensors. Police teams constantly coordinate with the traffic police at checkpoints and patrol vehicles to ensure no stolen vehicle passes by.

The cameras are monitored by police teams, which work in three shifts of eight hours each, and are deployed at the ICCC set up by the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority to monitor feeds on CCTV cameras and share real-time data with patrol teams as soon as they receive an alert.

KK Rao, the commissioner of police, said an alert is sounded to the nearby traffic post as well as the ICCC as soon as any suspected vehicle enters an area where an ANPR camera is installed, and the vehicle is intercepted at the next checkpoint by a police team. “If a vehicle escapes a checkpoint, teams manually track and follow the vehicle on suspected routes. More than 15 vehicles were recovered between September 25 and December 20 from suspects who were trying to flee to Nuh and Rajasthan. The cameras are connected to software which is further connected to Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), which updated itself with the latest stolen vehicle numbers from the city as well as the state,” he said.

Rao said police teams are deployed at all entry and exit points of the city (where ANPR cameras have been installed) and when any vehicle theft is reported, an alert message is sent out to police teams.

“The cameras alert the police about any such vehicle entering the city, enabling them to impound the vehicle at the location itself,” he said.

According to traffic police, nearly 60 more ANPR cameras will be installed at all entry points next year.

Maqsood Ahmed, the deputy commissioner of police (east), said that they have also set up a stolen vehicle desk (SVD) to track stolen vehicles as well as vehicles used to commit any crime. “We set up the desk three months ago,” he said. Right now the success rate is a mere 5% as the process has just been started, he added.

Ahmed said ANPR cameras record the number plates of vehicles that cross a particular stretch which police riders patrol 24x7 in three shifts. The information is stored in a database at the SVD.

Police said that as soon as they receive a complaint regarding vehicle theft, they enter the information in the database and set up the surveillance system.

Rao said that the SVD first receives an alert and passes the information to the team deployed at the checkpoints and the patrolling police control room vehicles. “A five member-team, led by an assistant commissioner of police and comprising a station house officer and three constables, is deployed to keep track of the stolen vehicle’s movement and pass on relevant information,” he said, adding that the desk is connected to all the 40 police stations across the city.

DCP Ahmed said that the teams are connected with each other on a WhatsApp group. “The surveillance and tracking system has successfully helped solve many cases, apart from recovering the stolen vehicles,” he said.

Police said they have recovered motorcycles that belonged to persons involved in committing crimes such as snatching, robbery, hit and runs and as well as those who fled after committing murders.

Rao said that they did face a few challenges while using the ANPR cameras, such as accuracy, which is only 85%. “We are regularly checking the night visibility issue and trying to upgrade the hardware,” he said.

Police said they are rewarding teams that recover stolen vehicles and risk their lives chasing criminals.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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