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Sunday June 23, 2024

Community Policing Karachi installs 127 cameras in Saddar with traders’ support

By Our Correspondent
June 10, 2024
A representational image of a technician working on CCTV cameras installed at an undisclosed location in this undated image. — AFP/File
A representational image of a technician working on CCTV cameras installed at an undisclosed location in this undated image. — AFP/File

The Community Policing Karachi (CPK) has begun installation of a network of cameras across the city to combat the rising street crime.

In the Saddar area, 127 high-resolution automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have been installed with the cooperation of the business community. These cameras have the capability to recognise vehicle number plates and they have been connected to the Anti-Vehicle Lifting Cell’s record system.

If a stolen or snatched vehicle passes in front of these cameras, it will be identified as stolen. The CPK has installed similar cameras in 10 areas of the city.

The inauguration of the CPK’s Command and Control Room established at the Preedy Police Station was done by Additional IG Karachi Imran Yaqoob Minhas. South DIG Asad Raza, SSP Sajid Saduzai and SP Majida were also present at the ceremony.

Addressing the event, CPK chief Murad Sohani stated that they were working for green, clean and safe neighbourhoods. He explained that 127 cameras had been installed in Saddar. "This is our 11th project," he remarked.

He said the CPK did not have any external funding source and it relied on the support of local residents and traders. The ANPR cameras would bring good news for the people of Karachi as they would help control the rampant street crime, he added.

Sohani said that more than a 1,000 cameras had already been installed while further projects were in the pipeline.

"We need to advance our policing to a modern and advanced model. No stolen vehicle can pass in front of these advanced cameras. Our aim is to provide relief to the citizens of Karachi," the CPK chief said.

Muhammad Rizwan Irfan, president of the Electronics Market, also spoke at the event. "We have installed 127 cameras and aim to increase this number to 200. We are working in collaboration with the police, and our cooperation will continue. Since 2016, the market association has recovered mobile phones worth more than 220 million rupees," he explained.

In his address, the Karachi additional IG said the initiative was made possible through cooperation between the police and public. Policing anywhere in the world was not possible without public cooperation, he remarked, adding that the people of Karachi were highly cooperative. “This is a community policing project being inaugurated today. We are interested in using CCTV footage and mobile technology to help catch criminals. Government resources are limited, but Karachi's trader community is providing significant support,” he said.

He explained that in 70 incidents of street crime, human lives were lost and tracing the suspects in those cases started with facial recognition. He said 90 per cent of the suspects were apprehended with the help of these cameras.

Talking about the recent attack on the police in Sohrab Goth, Additional IG Minhas said the suspects involved in the attack fled towards Afghan Basti and intelligence was being gathered to track them down.

A banned organisation claimed the responsibility of the attack on social media, he said, adding that during the investigations, it was found that the social media ID was fake.

He said investigations were under way to determine who created that fake ID and what their motives were. Similarly, he said progress had been made in the investigations into the police officer's martyrdom while dining at a hotel in Soldier Bazaar.

The city police chief said evidence suggested that the incident was a result of personal enmity.