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Mumbai: GRP, RPF get tech boost to curb crime on trains, stations

Updated on: 10 November,2023 08:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Apoorva Agashe |

Talk back system in ladies’ coaches on trains to give women communication avenue in times of distress and high-tech CCTV network on platforms is to help arrest criminals swiftly

Mumbai: GRP, RPF get tech boost to curb crime on trains, stations

Button on the Emergency Talk Back System will have to be pressed for three seconds to activate it and relay a message. Pic/Satej Shinde

Emergency Talk Back System in ladies’ compartments and a high-tech CCTV network with face recognition on platforms — these are the steps the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) have come up with to curb crime on railway stations and in trains.

The Emergency Talk Back System has been installed in 90 per cent of ladies compartments by the GRP to ensure the safety of women. Its main aim is to give women access to communication during emergencies. The system will alert the police and help them reach coaches swiftly. “The Emergency Talk Back System has been installed in 90 per cent of ladies coaches both in the first and the second classes. It has not been activated yet. We will complete installation soon,” said GRP’s Commissioner of Police (CP) Ravindra Shisave.

The GRP is in the final leg of installing the system in all 120 trains and 600 ladies coaches. “We expect that the system will be installed by March 2024. A first class ladies coach will have one talkback, and each second class ladies coach will have four. There are clear instructions on the talkbacks. In times of distress, a woman has to press the button on the talkback for three seconds and then record her message, which will be sent to the train manager. This panic button must be pressed only in case of emergencies. We are planning to raise awareness through social media platforms,” a GRP officer said.

Face recognition

On the other hand, the RPF along with the GRP, is in the process of installing CCTV cameras on the platforms and in the coaches. According to officials, some of the CCTV cameras in the network would have three special features — facial recognition system, pan, tilt and zoom feature, and fix resolution.

“Some of the CCTV cameras will have a face recognition system and other features. The cameras will be installed on all 117 Central Railway stations,” said an GRP officer. As part of the first phase of installation, the cameras have been set up on stations like Bycalla, Masjid Bunder, Curry Road and Chincpokli.

According to GRP officers, the cameras are being tested in a trial. More will be installed based on the footfall at stations by January 2024. According to data available with the GRP, 331 cameras were recently installed in coaches. This is in addition to the existing 1,924 cameras in coaches. Further, 1,077 coaches have no CCTV cameras and 60 CCTV installed cameras are not functioning.

The high-tech cameras would help the police identify people accused of crime more swiftly. In a recent case, an installed CCTV camera helped the RPF at Borivli apprehend a 24-year-old, Manish Baswat, who was accused of snatching a chain in September. Baswat admitted to snatching the gold chain valued at R70,000. He was later handed over to the GRP for legal procedures. “The main aim of the high-tech cameras is to curb crime. They have helped us detec crime so far,” said a GRP officer.

Month in 2024 when talk back system will be ready

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