`Public constantly monitored': 10.25L CCTVs installed in TS; activists flag concern

Srinivas Kodali, a researcher at the Free Software Movement of India, said that the high number of CCTVs means the public is constantly monitored. “The motto is to prevent crime before it happens but CCTVs don’t do that,” he said.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  30 Dec 2022 4:54 AM GMT
`Public constantly monitored:  10.25L CCTVs installed in TS; activists flag concern

More than 10.25 lakh CCTV cameras have been installed across Telangana so far.

Telangana Police's Annual Report revealed that 10,25,849 CCTV cameras have been installed across the state so far. Of which, 174,205 cameras were installed in 2022

The report further said that the CCTVs have helped detect many cases. During the year 2022, 18,234 cases were detected with the help of CCTVs

"One CCTV is equivalent to at least a hundred police officers. They're a huge help in both avoiding and solving crimes," said Mahender Reddy, Telangana DGP.

Srinivas Kodali, a researcher at the Free Software Movement of India, said that the high number of CCTVs means the public is constantly monitored. "The motto is to prevent crime before it happens but CCTVs don't do that," he said.

"As per the DGP's statement (1 CCTV equals 100 police officers), there are at least 2 officers for each citizen in Telangana. This number is huge! Furthermore, there should never be a society where the number of policemen is higher than doctors or engineers," he said.

Kodali further stated that CCTVs and other tools such as facial recognition create an atmosphere that is controlled by the police and eventually leads to the public fearing them.

"Despite the many CCTVs across the state and city, there are many backlogs. It is also necessary to understand that there are very few CCTVs installed in slums. Here, he said, " many cannot afford to buy CCTVs and neither do they have a regular electricity supply to keep them running," he said.

Earlier in April 2022, Telangana Excise and Prohibition minister Srinivas Goud asked all city pubs to install CCTVs on their premises within a month. Pubs with no cameras will be temporarily closed and re-opened only once they install CCTVs.

Further, pub owners must share the CCTV server with the police or the Excise department. The CCTV should cover the entire pub and leave no blind spots, and pub owners should not authorize anyone else to monitor the CCTV footage.

In the same month, Mahendar Reddy said Telangana has the best surveillance system in the country with more than nine lakh CCTV cameras (7 lakhs in Hyderabad alone) installed in the state.

Case Study:

In April, a woman was sexually assaulted in Madhapur, Hyderabad in the middle of the night.

When she filed a complaint, the police realized that the CCTV installed at the site was not working.

There was a delay in retrieving the footage from other CCTVs on adjacent roads as permission was required from each owner.

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