The Telegraph
Thursday , January 30 , 2014
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Police’s gizmo eye on peer movement

- GPS devices in patrol cars to check progress of teams

Cops out on the roads look out for criminals while their own movements are being tracked back at home, err control room.

Around 130 vehicles with the law and order and traffic wing of Patna police have been fitted with GPS (global positioning system) tracking devices. Personnel at the police’s control room are monitoring the movement of the vehicles in real time.

Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj told The Telegraph that, the tracking devices have been installed as part of the city surveillance programme. The “Dial 100” project introduced early last year for swift policing is also a part of the city surveillance programme.

“The city surveillance plan comprises a lot of things such as installing 140 different types of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in different areas of Patna, making the police emergency number 100 easily accessible to the people and installing the GPS tracking device in the police vehicles, especially the patrol ones. The work is on. At present, focus is on the police stations in the Patna urban area. All the patrol vehicles across Patna district would be soon fitted with the tracking devices,” Maharaaj said.

There are at least 300 patrol vehicles with the city police now, all of which would be fitted with the tracking devices. It would help the personnel at the control room monitor the movements of the patrol vehicles and minimise the chances of the teams sending false information about their positions.

Another police officer said: “A full-fledged modern control room has been created for tracking the movement of the patrol vehicles in the city. It is functional at the Patna police office. Cops are already monitoring movements in the city through the CCTV cameras installed at different points. Now, with the GPS system in place, those sitting in the control room would also be able to watch the movement of the patrol vehicles. The device would also enable the cops know the exact place a patrol vehicle is stationed at any point of time.”

Sources said the technology would help cut down on complaints about patrol teams reaching a spot late in time of emergency.

The officer said: “There have been complaints earlier that sometimes the patrol vehicles are late in reaching a spot even after directions have been given. The police teams use wireless sets now and so, cops in the patrol vehicles can sometimes give wrong information about their positions. Now, they would be easily monitored on the control room screen. The chances of giving false information would be minimised. Action would be taken against any patrolling team found relaying false information and the onus would fall on the station house officer.”

The GPS tracking system would also enable the police place teams at strategic spots in case of a crime in the city.

“The police have a list of the entry and exit spots in Patna. CCTV cameras have been installed at each of the spots and they give real time pictures to the police. In case of any crime, instructions could be issued to the patrolling teams of different police stations. Once they are placed at the entry and exit points, the GPS system and the CCTVs would enable senior officers to plan strategically. More work is to be done in this connection,” the officer added.

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