No high-resolution CCTV cameras for five key police wings

The five main wings of UT Police, including the Electronic Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) and the Economic Crime Wing (EOW), are not on the list of locations chosen to install HD CCTV cameras.

While Chandigarh Smart City Ltd, which has already installed 604 cameras in 17 police stations, says they are operating as per “UT Police requirements”, information accessed through an RTI query revealed that three of the five aforementioned suites have the private cameras that were Installed years ago.

The new cameras installed in police stations are powerful and their recorded image cannot be tampered with.

The Five Wings – Crime Branch, Sector 11; Operations Cell, Sector 26; District Criminal Investigation Cell (DCIC), Sector 24; CCIC, Sector 17; and EOW, Sector 17 – operate independently and are primarily tasked with controlling organized crime.

General Manager, Smart City, N.P. Sharma said, “We have installed CCTV cameras as per the requirements of Chandigarh Police. The Police Department is sending us their requirements with the location. Almost all the CCTV cameras have started working.”

In response to an RTI query submitted by The Indian Express, the police department revealed that EOW actually has four CCTV cameras while the crime branch has two. It further revealed that although no independent camera was installed in the Operations Cell, which keeps a tab on terrorist activities, some cameras installed in Sector 26 Police Station cover the wing. Similarly, the recently formed DCIC lacks standalone CCTV cameras. The response revealed that five cameras were installed in the sector 24 police station covering the buildings of the General Directorate of Criminal Procedures.

Incidentally, RTI provided by The Indian Express also found that a total of 157 CCTV cameras installed in various police stations and stations in Chandigarh have developed 13,699 malfunctions in the last five years.

RTI’s response also revealed that in stark contrast to the above, at least 18 cameras were installed in the office of the Director General of Police (DGP) (UT), Pravir Ranjan, Chief Superintendent of Police (SSP) (UT) Kuldeep Singh Chahal, and other parts Police headquarters in Sector 9 has not reported a single mistake in the past five years.

At least eight CCTV cameras have been installed in Ranjan’s office and nine in Chahal’s office.

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