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Non-functional CCTV puts safety at stake in Dimapur


Dimapur, August 8: The CCTV cameras installed at strategic points across Dimapur is turning into mere show pieces with most of the cameras not functioning.
In 2015, the Nagaland police had decided to establish a well-integrated CCTV surveillance network in Dimapur to control crime-related incidents. The object was to install CCTV cameras in strategic points in the city like entry & exit points as well as market areas to help police detect, prevent and prosecute assaults, robberies, and other serious offences. But non-functional cameras are defeating the purpose.
While non-functional cameras put public safety at risk, a greater concern is that it provide safe exit route to criminals after striking in the city. Even those CCTV cameras that are working are not reliable due to low quality of images.
It has also been observed that most of the places where CCTV cameras are installed, particularly in the streets, have no proper lighting at night. While this is all right during daytime, but at night these cameras are useless as cameras do not work in places where there is no light.
But Dimapur police remains adamant that not only are all the CCTV installed across the city working but they were also upgraded with high resolution recently. Unofficially, however, police admit lapses in certain areas.
“I will not be able to give you the figures but all are functional. Moreover, the existing camera systems have been upgraded with higher resolution under the initiative of DGP,” said PRO Dimapur police when asked on the numbers of CCTV installed in the city and how many are not working.
When pointed out that the 4 Point CCTV cameras installed at Khermahal traffic point is not working for a very long period, the PRO simply said, “All have been upgraded.”
On the functioning of CCTV installed in traffic points in the city, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic-1) Dimapur, Jatila Jamir said there is only one CCTV camera point under her jurisdiction at Holy Cross Point – Police booth. And the CCTV camera there is working, she said.
Jatila informed that earlier there was one working CCTV at Deluxe Point (Flyover point) but it was removed due to construction of the footbridge and assured that after completion of the footbridge the camera will be placed there again.
On the non-functioning of the CCTV cameras installed at Khermahal traffic point, she agreed it is not working. “It is not working for long,” she admitted.
But a top ranking police official claimed that the cameras at Khermahal are presently working.
Another police official on condition of anonymity said, “Neither the police will be able to know the happenings nor will they be able to nab the perpetrators if any incidents happen in Khermahal Point. Criminals after committing crimes will neither flee nor will they have the fear of being caught, and they can move out at ease.”
When asked on the number of cases solved by Dimapur police after going through CCTV footage installed across the city, PRO Dimapur police said, “I cannot recollect all but last year Rs 80 lakhs SBI heist was cracked after scanning the CCTV cameras footages.”
The PRO was optimistic that with the aid of CCTV across the city, Dimapur police will be able to apprehend hundreds of criminals, including those trying to steal vehicles and endangering public safety.
But the optimism of the district police appears farfetched when most vehicles snatching cases right in front of areas where CCTV cameras are installed cannot be solved. The reason cited are absence of CCTV footage or unclear images in the footage, said a Dimapur-based reporter whose two-wheeler remains untraced till date after being stolen from near a CCTV camera point.
A police official on condition of anonymity told Nagaland Page that he doesn’t have much knowledge at present but the CCTV cameras installed in City Tower was not working till June 2019. “And whether it is now working or not; I don’t not know,” he admitted.
But again the top police official when queried on it claimed that it is working now.
The contradictory statements from the police on the functioning or non-functioning of the CCTV installed in the city is a clear sign that something is not all right. It is the duty of the State police to see that all the CCTV are working and ensure safety of citizens and their properties. (Page News Service)