Mumbai: In a rigorous bid to bring down the number of offences and increasing cases of violence against law enforcement personnel, Mumbai traffic police will soon give more than 100 high-tech WiFi-based body cameras to the field personnel by the end of May, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar. This is an important move to curb the rising number of incidents of assault against traffic police by traffic violators. These cameras are said to be light, easy to carry around, virtually invisible and seem to be part of the police uniform. They will also capture high-quality images or record videos even under poor light conditions, said a police officer. These body cameras will have also have Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth facilities to quickly transmit data of various incidents to the Mumbai Police Control Room. This will help them nab the offender, especially if they flee from the spot after attacking the police.
The state government had begun search for the body cameras on an experimental basis a few years ago, but abandoned it after they developed serious technical glitches. However, after rectifying the errors, it will soon be given to traffic cops. “We plan to buy 100 body cameras, which will eventually serve as evidence in case of an altercation. These body cams will also have an infrared night vision, since our teams are mostly active during the night for checking overloaded trucks and other vehicles,” said Kumar. The idea of wearing body cams on traffic police personnel took shape after a traffic police head constable Vilas Shinde was brutally attacked by a juvenile and his brother near Bandra in August 2016.
When they were asked to show their vehicle documents and driving licence, they thrashed the 51-year old and fled from the spot instead of showing their documents. Shinde later succumbed to his injuries and the incident created a furore among traffic police personnel across the city. This prompted the traffic police to undertake a survey, which helped them identify 130 vulnerable spots in the city, which are unsafe for the on-duty officers. Traffic violators who tend to resort to violence while dealing with traffic police will be penalised and arrested. “The people should realise, the traffic police are only doing their job and it is the violator who is at fault. More importantly, the traffic police have been behaving extremely calm and composed in such situations, which is really commendable,” said Kumar.
On Arpil 12, a father-son duo were booked for allegedly assaulting a traffic policeman in Tardeo. The incident took place at Forjett Street around 8.00 pm when the accused, Jay Munwani, who was driving with his family, tried to enter a one-way road. When the traffic policeman on duty asked Munwani to go back, the accused allegedly began to argue with him. When the policeman tried to enter the details of the vehicle into his e-challan handset, Munwani allegedly also knocked the machine out of his hand and tried assaulting the traffic cop.
The police said there was an urgent need for such body cams to curb road rage menace. A transport analyst said, the idea of body cams is and excellent move, as it will record everything from taking bribes to providing evidence to police. “Since everything will be recorded live, it could also serve as evidence in future, when disputes involving police personnel and law-breakers,” said an analyst.