COVID-19 lockdown: Drones help Panvel City cops nab 18 for assembly

Updated: Apr 25, 2020, 07:22 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Since April 22, they have been using drones to keep tabs on people during the lockdown, and have nabbed them for gathering on terraces

Grabs of footage taken from a drone by the Panvel City police that show people gathering on a terrace
Grabs of footage taken from a drone by the Panvel City police that show people gathering on a terrace

The Panvel City police are now keeping an eye on citizens from the sky as well. With the help of two drones for surveillance since April 22, they have arrested 18 persons for venturing out and assembling during the lockdown. They have also served notices to 14 housing societies on whose terraces residents were seen gathering. The police are also holding surprise visits in housing societies and checking their CCTV footage to make sure there is no crowding or unnecessary movement.

Drones to keep watch

The police had started registering offences against people roaming on roads during the lockdown. But they found that people living in housing societies have started gathering on the terraces. “Our first thought was to keep an eye on containment zones and their narrow lanes. But we found many people gather at terraces as well. So keeping one drone for the surveillance of such zones, we started using the other to keep tabs on societies etc,” said Ajay Kumar Landge, senior inspector of Panvel City police station.

After the drone surveillance, the police booked and arrested 10 persons at Panvel Koliwada for defying the lockdown and assembling. Around 14 housing societies have been served notices as their residents have been found walking, playing or mingling in their terraces.

Using CCTVs as well

On April 23, the police received information that some people had gathered at Khamkar House, Bhusar Galli. But when the police reached the spot, people escaped. The police then checked the CCTV footage from the cameras installed by the society and identified them with the help of members, arresting eight people.

"We are repeatedly asking residents to stay indoors, but citizens are defying the lockdown some way orthe other. We are using drones and societies’ own CCTVs to keep tabs on people," said Senior Inspector Landge.

14
No. of housing societies issued notices

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