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June 20, 2018
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The question that we keep asking ourselves i.e. ‘Why is surveillance important in India?’ can be answered simply by the following facts. This includes not only home and business but also public surveillance.

India, a country of 1.3 billion people, is a place where the growth is imminent. With each passing day, India keeps recording itself in the history books in terms of all the scientific and socio-cultural achievements we earn. The Indian Space Research Organization showed the space agencies across the globe and the entire world for that matter of fact that economical and highly complicated yet accurate launches can be made by this nation full of minds which are destined for nothing but greatness. In the department of sports, India has cemented itself as the unbeatable giant in the face of the Indian Cricket team, winning matches after matches in face of unbeatable odds.

While all that’s said and done, our population of 1.3 billion has been under constant threat of growth in another department that more or less is a public risk; this threat, however, is much more severe and comes from our own fellow countrymen.

Crime in the country has never been higher than it is now. Since 2001, the total criminal activities reported under the National Crime Recording Bureau have increased a whopping 41% from 1.7 million to 2.9 million in 2015; that’s an increase of around 2.8% each year!

The majority of crimes that were reported include theft, burglary, and murder, majorly, along with several other miscellaneous crimes. To think that each day over 8,000 people are subjected to crimes across India is shocking, to say the least.

Surveillance

While the country has been fighting a legal battle against all the suspects to convict them fairly as per the IPC, there are a lot of those who do not even fall onto the radar and thus slip away from the hands of justice due to the absence of a surveillance state. This not only fails to deliver justice to the victims but also encourages the suspects to repeat the crimes as the lack of evidence is bound to set them free even if they get caught.

However ever since the dawn of the information age, Surveillance Technology has aimed to do just that. There have been multiple instances where with the employment of surveillance, crime started diminishing exponentially.

Using the Tilley model which directly maps a correlation and effect that CCTV cameras and video surveillance has on Crime, Brown (1995) was able to map out the changes and effects that CCTV and surveillance cameras had in the Newcastle town center while maintaining it under a surveillance state. According to his finding, after analyzing the crime reports, 26 months prior and 15 months post installation of the CCTV cameras at the Newcastle town center area, he identified a huge drop in the overall criminal activities. Just 14 cameras dropped burglary by 57%, damage to property by 34% and MV theft dropped by 47%.

How did the numbers start falling so significantly?

As per the Pawson and Tilley, in their 1994 and 1997 research respectively, they were able to shine a light on possible mechanisms which prevent crime and correlate directly with how surveillance helps with it. These 8 types of surveillance effects include:

  • Being ‘caught in the act’ mechanism, which states that CCTV surveillance can effectively reduce crime by capturing the faces of the criminals while they are committing crimes, in order to apprehend them and thus further deters crime.
  • You have been framed’ mechanism where the potential criminals choose to not follow through with the crime in an attempt to not be caught by the surveillance equipment.
  • The ‘nosy parker’ mechanism that allows the surveillance equipment to make an area feels safer thus attracting more people in that particular place. This will effectively make the potential criminals, in their effort to not being seen by the increased set of ‘eyes’ on the premises, choose not to follow through with the criminal activity.
  • Then comes the ‘effective deployment’ mechanism that will enable the security staff to be deployed faster to the location where crime is being committed, allowing them to become guardians on watch.
  • Publicity’ mechanism, where the announcement and deployment of CCTV and surveillance equipment will seem like a risk to the potential criminals, thus reducing their overall activity in the area.
  • The ‘time for crime’ mechanism effectively lets an offender realize that the overall time to commit a particular crime has been reduced due to the effective deployment of CCTV and other surveillance equipment which forces them to engage in petty criminal activities and effectively drop ball on the more severe ones which take a rather long time to complete.
  • The ‘memory jogging’ mechanism lets the general public, look at the surveillance equipment and remember to play caution by effectively locking doors and follow other habits which keep the threat of a criminal activity minimum.
  • Appeal to the cautious’ will allow the more security minded individuals to only stick to the areas with high to average CCTV coverage.

While the above-mentioned data was extracted too long ago from a country that isn’t like ours, there are a lot of examples where a successful deployment of video surveillance cameras was able to curb out crime, effectively.

Prime examples in India

Bhavnagar City:

It is a city which enjoys a rich history and has a fast growing rate of both human and vehicle population on the streets. It’s a city whose roots date back to the 17th century has been growing exponentially while increasing with itself, the traffic and the areas to monitor each day. Moreover, with the annual celebration of Jagannath Rath Yatra, the city, for its guardians, the local cops started becoming eventually a surveillance nightmare. In order to cope up with the city’s massive growth and the increasing crime rates, Superintendent of Police Bhavnagar, Dipankar Trivedi decided to empower the city with electronic eyes. The 155 CCTVs installed as government surveillance program across the city in 2015, have effectively been able to bring the crime down by 20-25% and brought the number of petty crimes like snatching and petty thefts next to nothing. The increasing confidence in the department of Police and the resting sense of security in people has been a real driving force for the growth in the city.

Delhi:

The capital of our country, or often known as the crime capital of our country, has also seen a massive shift towards a city less plagued by crime due to the addition of CCTV and other video surveillance technology. According to Madhur Verma, DCP (north) Delhi Police, the crime in the hot areas like Chandni Chowk has decreased dramatically by 50% after the CCTV cameras came into the picture. It has become easier to speed up the investigation, find suspects and apprehends criminals all due to the presence of video surveillance in the city.

Mumbai-Thane:

The numerous societies scattered across Mumbai and Thane once were plagued by the regular and exponentially increasing criminal activities. Regular crimes included snatching, theft, burglary and many others which were brought down effectively after the CCTV surveillance cameras came into the picture. After the installation of said surveillance equipment in 2013, the crime was seen dropping down by 22%. The crimes like stealing of car stereos, snatching and robbery came down exponentially and the suspects were apprehended fairly due to the video evidence present.

Find the Safe haven

The above-mentioned evidence clearly shows the importance of surveillance technology in our day to day lives. The constant research, time and again has proven how you can protect yourself and your family and business with a simple addition of CCTV coverage over your own domain. To know more about how you can bring everything in your life under the protective umbrella of surveillance security, visit: https://www.wicamfi.com.

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