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Local shopkeeper is Pune police’s “big brother” - 26,500 CCTVs watching you

The cameras will be installed by businesspersons on their shopfronts; at present the police department has 1,300 CCTV units of their own

pune Updated: Jul 14, 2019 15:31 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
A man observes CCTV camera footage at his shop on Jungli Maharaj road in the city on Saturday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

The city police have succeeded in adding 26,523 CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras to its existing network to increase 24/7 vigilance and bring in greater efficiency in solving crimes.

These new CCTVs are the ones installed by shopkeepers on their shopfronts at the request of the police department. Eventually, it plans to connect and geo tag a total of one lakh CCTV systems across the city.

Two months earlier, the department had requested small establishments to install CCTV systems on their premises which faced streets. This was under the Pune police’s “CCTV Watch Project” which seeks to enable law enforcement authorities to track the activities of law-breakers in real time.

Under this initiative, the police department has so far connected and geo tagged 26,523 private CCTV cameras in the city which have been installed by various shopkeepers.

Shirish Sardeshpande, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), said, “We welcome the positive response that we have received from thousands of small and big shopkeepers who have let us collaborate with them to increase the surveillance under the CCTV watch initiative. This will assist the police department respond faster to incidents.”

He added, “We have assured all the owners of the establishments that this initiative will not hamper their privacy at all. We will be accessing this footage only in the event of a crime in a particular location. We won’t even ask the private establishments for their footage unless it relates to a crime scene.”

According to Sardeshpande, besides these 26,523 private CCTV cameras, the police department has 1,300 CCTV units of its own in various sensitive parts of the city.

Through this project, the police would be able to monitor the number of CCTVs installed within 100 metres of a spot where a crime has taken place on their mobile phones.

“The idea for the project was put forward by police commissioner K Venkatesham with an aim to ensure security through public participation,” added Sardeshpande.

Venkatesham said, “The police department is keen on technological advancements along with capability enhancement. This initiative will certainly help us respond to crimes faster.”

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 14:14 IST