The Mileage of Footage

Recently we have come across CCTV footage of attacks at ATM’s, crimes in retail outlets and in other public places. The footage videos are becoming a sensation and played over and over again in all the television networks. Yes, the video footage do help in finding the criminal and presenting him to the hands of law.

But the basic questions here are

1. Are footages really helpful in preventing the crime?

2. ‘If prevention is better than cure’, why do we wait for a crime or an error to happen and then do a post mortem with the recording?

3. Having invested to develop an infrastructure for recording, why do we not use the information collected to make effective and timely decisions?

In the case of ATM attack at Bangalore, the culprit had been eyeing the same ATM centre for the previous two days, he in fact attempted to attack a customer the previous morning in the same way by pulling down the shutters, but that victim was saved by her husband who incidentally stepped up beside her and enquired what the culprit was trying to do.

These instances were revealed from the footages of the previous days but are absolutely of no use in preventing another crime. Most devastating part is that the affected victim was trying to argue with the culprit for more than 20 minutes which has been recorded but no one was there to act on the information captured.

In medical world, Pulse oximeter is a photoelectric instrument used to detect the amount of oxygen in a patient’s blood. The measurement is ongoing and the patient is supplied with oxygen through external cylinders whenever the reading shows a drop.

Similarly in countries abroad the speed limit on limited access roads is continuously been monitored and those vehicles which exceed the prescribed limits are issued tickets then and there to take control of the situation.

Michael Dell of Dell computers said that ‘Anything that can be measured can be improved’. But here as a country having taken time and effort to measure the transactions round the clock, we still have tremendous opportunities to use it to improve the system and its security as a whole.

Dr. M Selvalakshmi,

Faculty of Marketing,

Thiagarajar School of Management, Madurai.