Khandwa: A CCTV camera at the corner of a road in the Ramnagar area of the city caught a person carrying a sack on February 22, 2020 at around 4.30 am.
The footage proved to be a valuable input for the police to crack the murder mystery of a 50-year-old unidentified woman. The culprit turned out to be none other than her own son.
This is but one example of how CCTV cameras are playing a crucial role in terms of cracking cases and conviction of accused.
In 2020 alone, Khandwa police have cracked four major cases including shooting, inferno and murder case with the help of CCTV footage.
The technology is altering policing, but the transformation started in 2011, when the then superintendent of police Harinarayana Chari Mishra chalked out the strategy to make Khandwa the first town in Indore division where CCTVs were installed by police to keep a track of the movement of people.
Khandwa is a sensitive place as the town frequently witnesses activities of SIMI and communal tension.
Since then, cameras have also been installed in rural areas like Omkareshwar, Javar and Chaigaon Makhan. In Omkareshwar, the cameras help in crowd management on the occasion of religious festivals.
CCTV cameras have changed our investigation patterns. Our first reflex is to look if the crime scene is covered by any CCTV camera. Only then do we get into the next set of investigation process and evidence collection, such as fingerprint gathering and other circumstantial evidence,î said city superintendent of police Lalit Gathrey.
Besides installing cameras, we also count on locals to install the same in their business establishments and home. At present, 98 cameras are keeping an eye on different parts of the city CSP added.
CCTV act as a deterrent and alos provide us with important clues in the event of any crime, CSP added.
Some of major cases which were cracked with the help of CCTV cameras in 2020:
1. CCTV cam at Indore Naka help in nabbing the accused of shooting incident reported under Kotwali police station.
2. Accused who torched a shop near railway station was identified with the help of a CCTV cam mounted at Railway Station triangle.
3. Dhananjay's murder under Moghat police station was cracked with the help of CCTV cam installed at Sigote area.
4. Woman murder case in Ramnagar locality under Kotwali police station limit was cracked thanks to CCTV footage
Types of CCTV cams in city
In Khandwa, there are 72 normal, 20 pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera, 04 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras and two drone cameras. The ANPR cameras provide detail information about the vehicle which comes in its purview.
"Highly sensitive cases like arson and murder have been cracked with the help of CCTV cameras. We are mulling the use of face recognition technology in future. For now we have sent a proposal to increase the number of cameras in some places in Khandwa." - Vivek Singh, superintendent of police, Khandwa