Personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Tiruchi would be equipped with body cameras to bring in greater transparency and accountability in their work.
Two hi-tech body cameras have been provided to the RPF post in Tiruchi Junction led by a senior officer in the rank of an Inspector. The cameras have been given to duty RPF personnel carrying out platform duty. They can record the entire activity while on the move and take photographs.
The equipment can record their conversation with passengers or others wandering in the station. This is the first time RPF personnel have been equipped with body cameras. It is in addition to chain of over 60 surveillance cameras installed at platforms, subway and other spots.
Authorities said on Wednesday that 14 cameras have been provided to the Southern Railway in the first lot. Two cameras each have been provided to six railway divisions in the zone: Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Salem. One camera has been given to the RPF Training Centre and the other has been kept at the headquarters. The RPF would be going in for more such cameras.
Senior officers said the cameras equipped with chips could be used as a valid proof of behaviour of personnel. Rude behaviour on the part of passengers or personnel could be detected.
The equipment would help the force to establish identity of accused indulging in crimes and record movement of suspects wandering in the station. The RPF Post in Tiruchi Junction has about 42 field-level personnel engaged for platform duty in three shifts on a day with 12 to 14 men posted in each shift. The equipment could function for nearly seven to eight hours after which it would be charged. The entire recordings and photographs could be saved in a computer for closer study as and when required.
Another senior RPF officer said plans were afoot to equip body cameras to personnel serving at Villupuram Junction, Puducherry and other important stations in the division. RPF personnel deployed for train escort duty would soon be provided with this device in this division.