Sharper CCTV footage can dull crime in city

Published: Nov 21, 2018, 05:47 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

Quality footage is a valuable weapon. We must ensure that our eyes in the sky stay sharp and focused

This paper ran a well-followed graphic report on how cops managed to catch a thief who was picking pockets at Sion station recently, thanks to CCTV surveillance. The illustrative report captured how a Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable first smelled something fishy while monitoring CCTV footage at Sion station. The footage clearly showed a passenger quitting the ticket queue, strangely just as he was about to reach the ticket window. The cop watched the man switch queues quite a few times.

Those who travel by train will definitely find this odd, as commuters are always in a hurry to reach the ticket window, and are relieved to be able to get a ticket. After the crook switched queues five times, the alert constable informed the anti-theft staff. Sure enough, the suspicious 'queue quitter' was nabbed after he filched the wallet of a passenger trying to board a train. It turned out he was jumping from queue to queue, simply looking for his next target.

This incident once again shows us that high quality CCTV surveillance has become indispensable as a crime-fighting tool. We must stress that surveillance has to be of the highest quality, because grainy footage is simply a waste of time and money. This is especially important in public places like railway stations, where crowds make it impossible for authorities to monitor everything in person.

CCTV footage is useful in giving the first vital clue that something is wrong, to set the alarm bells ringing, so to speak. And, of course, it helps immeasurably in cracking and closing cases. Let us keep sharpening technology in our bid to make this a safer city. Quality footage is a valuable weapon. We must ensure that our eyes in the sky stay sharp and focused.

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