Bhopal: Your CCTVs will now be cops’ eyes in crime-buster app

BHOPAL: Spot something strange in your neighbourhood? Soon you can share CCTV feeds from your residential colony with the police to help tackle crime.

In a first, Bhopal police will soon launch a mobile application, ‘Bhopal Eye’, which seeks to involve city residents in crime detection. The plan is to secure online access to the CCTV cameras fitted outside the residents’ buildings. People can download the mobile app from Google play store on Android phones or iOS app store on their iPhones and share link of their internet-enabled cameras with police.

After getting access, police will monitor the live feed from private CCTV cameras at the control room. Bhopal will probably be the second city in country to have started this project after Surat in Gujarat. In the first phase, police expects to take feed from CCTV cameras fitted at private hospitals, offices, showrooms and petrol pumps.

The mobile application, ‘Bhopal Eye’, has been developed by an Indore-based software company. It is already available on Google play store and is in the testing phase. Once the user downloads it, they will have to register with their mobile number and email ID.

After completing the registration process, they will have to fill in the camera details like location on the premises and share the URL link. A senior cop said that the application will automatically pick up the location of the shared camera with the help of geo-tagging and then the live feed from the camera can be accessed at the new police control room.

The officer said that police will monitor the happenings in the nearby areas with the help of shared CCTV cameras. He has assured that people need not be afraid that police will sneak into their privacy. Police only wants the access to the CCTV cameras fitted outdoors. The senior cop said that it will be a win-win situation for the people as well as police. The individual sharing live feed will help police track any criminal activity happening in the area. It will also help the cops monitor the situation in the area in case of any law and order situation. A senior traffic police officer said that the surveillance CCTV cameras in the city were installed in various phases till 2014. No surveillance CCTV cameras have been installed after 2014. He admitted that the quality of these cameras is not up to the mark compared to the CCTV cameras installed under the ITMS.

He said that the surveillance CCTV cameras have limited zoom capacity, so on many occasions, it becomes difficult to identify the registration number and even the make of vehicle using these cameras. ASP, Crime branch, Nishchal Jharia, said city police have already associated with three NGOs and conducted marathon meeting with many city-based organisations, including residents welfare societies, petrol pumps association, private hospital and nursing home associations, coaching class operators, religious institutions and others for installing good quality night vision internet-enabled CCTVs at their premises and share the live feed with police.

Jharia said that the importance of CCTV cameras in crime detection can be understood by the fact that almost all major crime cases cracked in the past six months were solved with the help of private CCTV cameras. It is a fact that burglars avoid targeting houses and colonies which are under CCTV surveillance. DIG Irshad Wali said that people’s participation is a must in controlling crime in the city. If people install good quality CCTV cameras on their premises, workplace, shopping complexes, etc and provide access of live feed to police, it would be beneficial for both police and themselves.

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