Cities Must Invest In Video Surveillance For Safer Cities: Experts

There needs to be an emphasis on installing right surveillance standards and industry best practices for effective surveillance that ensures safety and peace of mind for citizens

As the cities will grow smarter and more futuristic, IT, especially the Video surveillance will play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of the cities in future, industry experts in the Smart Cities ecosystem feels. Investing in the latest video surveillance technology with highest-resolution cameras, best quality analysis tools, and highest capacity storage will help lead to smart surveillance systems for secure and safe areas, with a goal of achieving fewer crimes, 24x7 surveillance, and safer environments for city inhabitants.

“With smarter cities, comes smarter responsibilities and video surveillance is one of them. The process of video surveillance involves a lot of data generation which needs to be stored for future analysis and monitoring. Therefore, it is imperative to set the video surveillance standards in place to ensure high quality and sustainability. The surveillance ecosystem players need to work together to achieve a common goal of enabling smarter and safer cities at a faster pace,” Khwaja Saifuddin, Senior Sales Director - South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital, said.

He was speaking at a round table conference session on “Role of Video Surveillance Systems in making cities safer”. The session was aimed at highlighting the current state of surveillance security in India, the challenges and sustainable solutions to help urban planners understand the framework of a smart city and take steps to improve infrastructure. The discussion centered on the need of smart surveillance shaping smart cities and how to transform surveillance video from cost burden to value-added asset.

“Public surveillance cameras can play a pivotal role in city’s security if CCTV Systems are implemented and employed responsibly.  There needs to be an emphasis on installing right surveillance standards and industry best practices for effective surveillance that ensures safety and peace of mind for citizens," Pratap Padode, Executive Director and Founder, Smart Cities Council India, said, .

He cited the example of Bengaluru authorities, who have already in the process of installation of around 5,000 new CCTV cameras across the city. He said however cities must look for standard quality before going for such excercises.

"It has to be more than just an exercise. The technology capital of the state should lead by example and set up best standards for video surveillance using latest technology by installing and upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems, and allied technologies”, Padode added.

“Bangalore being the Silicon Valley of India, should always lead in perspective of technology modernization. Hence, such initiatives will boost Indian Government’s Smart Cities Mission and make Bangalore an ideal example in the league. Effective surveillance, secure infrastructure is important to ensure a safer environment. Hence, technology enablers and the government should work jointly to achieve smart cities vision," Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, IT, BT and ST, Government of Karnataka said.  

Apart from the installation of camera, the speakers also underlined the need of city administrations to focus on upgrading defined specification of cameras, storage systems and allied technologies, incentive to help propel the formation of sustainable smart cities.

In January 2017, SSC in support with Western Digital had launched a report on “Role of Surveillance in Securing Cities”. One of the key survey findings was that ‘large storage capacity’ came up as a high priority. 

The report has pointed out that as hard drive technology continues to advance, it is important to help ensure that storage is scalable and future-ready to enable longer retention cycles and broader analytical capabilities.