Be it in reel or real life, Indian citizens are used to the adage — the police are always late. However, not many know that the Gandhinagar Police has demolished the jinx of being “latecomers”, setting an example that can be followed by various other state police departments.
Speaking exclusively to the Council, Virendra Yadav, Superintendent of Police, Gandhinagar, said that with the help of a private player, the police have developed a four-layered structure for crime prevention.
“The four-layered system — call jump software, computerised messaging, GPS, and CCTV surveillance — has helped the police in cutting response time from 22-26 minutes to 4-6 minutes over the past three months,” said Yadav.
Earlier, the operations of the control room were traditionally managed with a manual interface; operators used to waste their time in writing complaints and passing it on to wireless teams. Since this was a time-consuming exercise, said Yadav, “We have installed a 911-like feature with the use of modern technologies in our control room, which also makes it easier to detect and solve crime faster.”
How it works
According to the SP, when a caller dials the police control room, he will never come across an engaged tone. This is mainly due to the call jumping feature (software) installed that helps transfer the call to the next available line. Here, the caller is directly patched to a control room cop. After hearing the complaint, a cop types an alert into a computer, which sends a message via wireless to PCR vans in the vicinity, or in the range of a crime spot.
Since the PCR vans are GPS-based, and equipped with geo-fencing, the cop uses an Automatic Vehicle Locator to track the location of all the PCR vans. With geo-fencing, the movement of the PCR is now limited.
The message is also passed to the CCTV surveillance room which zooms in on the crime spot and aids the PCR van by reporting about the crime and the offenders if they are spotted.
“The PCR vans have been assigned designated areas, and are tracked using GPS. This saves time in contacting the officer closest to the crime spot,” said Yadav. “Earlier, six PCR vans were assigned, which has now increased to nine in three police stations.”
According to an official from Gandhinagar Police, as a part of the Smart City initiatives, around 240 CCTV cameras have been installed to watch over the city. Of 240 cameras, around three are equipped with face recognition. The CCTV cameras have been integrated with four-layered structure where a map data system displays where officers are located at any given time of their shift, on a computerised map.
These CCTV cameras also monitor the movements of PCR vehicles such as location and halting points. GPS helps decrease response times to emergency calls by locating the officer closest to the calls.
“Meanwhile, the deployment of CCTV cameras has helped us in managing the traffic, crowd management and nabbing the criminals on a real-time basis,” said Yadav.
How successful has the system been?
According to Yadav, with the deployment of the four-layered system, the police have managed to curb chain snatching incidents by 30 per cent. This was one of the major recent achievements of the Gandhinagar Police.
Because of monitoring through CCTV, other criminal activities are also in check.
For example, the Gandhinagar Police has nabbed a gang of bag snatchers with the help of this system.
Here, the police acted upon a call by an alert citizen about the crime, and reached the spot in just three minutes, as the nearby PCR van was informed about the crime scene. Meanwhile, CCTV cameras played a major responsibility. They not only identified the registration number of a vehicle in which the gang had fled, they also recognised the faces of the thieves.
By doing this, the police monitored the movement of the vehicle in which the gang was travelling and the location was shared with PCR vans and cops on a real-time basis. At the end, the police not only nabbed all the criminals, but also recovered the loot in just half an hour.