By A Newsman
Kolkata, 01 September: KOLKATA Police on Thursday became the first among all police forces in Indian metro cities to equip its traffic cops with body camera to capture the audio and video of their interactions with traffic rule violators.
Prior to this, only the police in Delhi’s neighbourhood Noida had introduced body cameras for the traffic policemen in February this year.
Introduction of body camera for Kolkata’s traffic policemen comes roughly a year since the proposal was mooted by the then commissioner of the city police Surajit Kar Purkayastha, who is now the director general of the state police.
Kar Purkayastha picked up the idea when he visited London with the Chief Minister last year and there he saw the effective use of body cameras by the traffic police. The traffic cops in the USA and several other European countries have been using such cameras for years now.
For now, only the traffic sergeants of Kolkata Police have been equipped with body cameras that are wirelessly connected to each of the 25 Traffic Guards in the city and also the central traffic control at Lalbazar. The sergeants have been asked to wear the match-box size cameras on the button on their shirts.
The cameras will record and love stream both video and audio wherever a sergeant catches a traffic rule violator and fines or arrests him / her.
The sergeants cannot switch off the cameras as per their wish, because the feed will be under constant monitoring at the respective Traffic Guard and Lalbazar control room. Thus, whenever there is an allegation of undue action or misbehaviour by a traffic cop, the video will be reviewed to verify the allegation.
Likewise, police will now be able to expose those who misbehave with traffic personnel and cry foul instead. This is particularly true as regards the affluent class and those having links with the politicians in power.