… Thimphu city has 135 CCTV cameras

Lhakpa Quendren  

Thimphu city is witnessing an increase in criminal activities in the last two years. Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) see installing more CCTV cameras as an effective deterrent measure.

Of the 3,499 criminal offences recorded in the country last year, Thimphu saw the highest spike with 1,462 cases, an increase of 281 cases from 2021.

There are currently 135 CCTV cameras, all functional, across Thimphu city.

Deputy Chief of Police, Colonel Passang Dorji, said that the rapidly changing situation demands more CCTV cameras. “The requirement depends on the development and the overcrowding of the places.”

“We cannot say the existing cameras are enough. Places keep on changing and cases keep on increasing and accordingly, there is a requirement for additional CCTV cameras,” he said.

To ensure safety, he said, CCTV cameras were installed wherever necessary. “To the maximum extent, there are enough CCTV cameras to control vehicles speeding, accidents, and in the corners where there used to be fighting.”

Police officials say that the relevant stakeholders such as Thimphu Thromde and the surface transport department should support the police in the procurement of additional CCTV cameras.

Colonel Passang Dorji said that the RBP also asked all dzongkhags to render help for the installation of CCTV cameras in their respective cities to observe bad characters at night.

He also said business establishments are importantly required to install the cameras for various purposes. “We told them to install it wherever required. It is for our own safety and security.”

“But the cameras should have a monitoring and recording system. Even if there is CCTV, but the monitor is not working and doesn’t have the recording, we can do nothing when they report the crime,” he said.

He said the police are also creating awareness among the shopkeepers and individuals to install CCTV if required. “We are informing the people, but we cannot force them. It depends on their resources.”

Statistics with the RBP showed battery, and substance abuse continues to be the leading criminal offences in the country, followed by larceny, burglary, and deceptive practice, among others.