CHENNAI: The Chennai city police may soon install across the city ‘smart’ cameras that can identify vehicles by reading the number plates. While the police believe that the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras would help them in curbing crimes like vehicle thefts and rash driving, the proposed system can incidentally cause privacy concerns too.
The ability of the system also means the police can track movements of any vehicle (and hence its occupants) within the city and cameras can also take photos of the vehicle and its driver. A few other metropolitan cities (New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru) already have such systems installed and Chennai is getting it under the ‘smart cities’ project of the Union government.
Speaking to Express, a senior police officer from the city traffic police said the cameras would be installed along the East Coast Road in the pilot phase. “Open tenders will be floated for the ANPR cameras soon. We are planning to install anywhere between 100 and 300 cameras at various vantage points across the city.” The priority of the police is to install at spots that help them curb violations of traffic rules.
This would help police save manpower as it can help enforce traffic rules even in the absence of a personnel. By linking the system with the database of the Transport department, the police hope the system can enable automatic serving of fine challan to the vehicle owner’s address. “We already have a (list) of a few sensitive places and we will list down more places to install the cameras. This software will also help police detect stolen and suspicious vehicles,” he added.
Explaining further the working of the system, another senior officer said the database of stolen vehicles would be linked to the software controlling the new cameras and the cameras would alert once a vehicle with that particular registration number is spotted in any part of the city. Besides these abilities, the proposed system also helps in monitoring the traffic jams.
Features of the automatic number plate recognition cameras
1.Cameras will be able to read different fonts on the number plate
2. A picture of the driver, vehicle, the date, time and location will be stored
3. Equipped with infrared vision, which can effectively function during night
4. Camera can identity any vehicle based on the inputs given from a database