Habitual offenders beware! Rly cops will catch you on camera

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Mumbai: In a major step towards improving safety of commuters, the Western Railway has charted out plans to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras equipped with face detection software at all stations on the stretch between Churchgate and Virar.

In total, 2,900 state-of-the-art CCTV cameras with night-vision capacity and facial recognition tools will be installed at stations in order to identify habitual offenders and issue alerts.

According to sources privy to the development, tender procedures for the Rs 64-crore project will start soon. A time-bound action plan was being worked out to launch the project by June next year.

Though currently there are 1,600 CCTV cameras at stations along the route, it has been found that most of them do not serve the purpose due to poor quality of visuals and bad positioning.

The idea is to create a biometric database of habitual offenders and link the CCTV camera network with the control room. Once a scanned face is found in the database, the system would alert the control room. Upon receiving the feed, the image would be automatically highlighted on the computer screen at the facility and an alarm would go off. Details such as the person’s current location and his/her antecedents would also be generated within a matter of seconds.

The control room with modern facilities will be set up at the Mumbai Central Railway station. The unit will be manned by 20 staff members with technical expertise. They will be assisted by personnel attached to the Railway Protection Force (RPF).

The database of habitual offenders is being prepared by the RPF in coordination with the Government Railway Police, the officials added.

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