Body cameras for railway ticket checkers, pilot project starts in Mumbai

New Delhi: Railway ticket checkers are being provided body cameras with the aim to ensure transparency in the process and prevent violent and unruly behaviour on board trains, officials said.
As a pilot project, the Central Railway has procured 50 such body cameras and provided them to ticket checkers in the Mumbai Division.
Procured at a cost of Rs 9,000 each, these body cameras can record about 20 hours of footage.
Officials say that if the pilot project in Mumbai is successful, it will be replicated across the rail network.
Body cameras were first worn by police in the United Kingdom in 2005 and have since been adopted by numerous police forces and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Several police forces in India also use body cameras.
“The body cameras would help maintain transparency during ticket checking and prevent misbehavior and violent acts. The initiative would also help detect any discrepancy during ticket checking, particularly in the event of complaints, and would further increase accountability, induce professionalism and protect staff from reputational damage,” a spokesperson of the Central Railway said.
Recently a travelling ticket examiner was suspended after he allegedly misbehaved with a woman passenger in the Central Railway. There have also been instances of errant passengers on broad trains, officials said.
Several studies over the past decade have concluded that the body cameras did not live up to its expectations. The existing research provided mixed results as to whether the cameras reduce the use of force by police officers or increase the communities’ trust in police.
In the railways’ case, officials hope, that the cameras will act as a deterrent against bad behaviour and malpractice.

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