Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his vision for policing at the Guwahati Conference, enunciating the concept of SMART Police — a force which would be strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsive and techno-savvy and trained.
The police force is now realising the benefits of this modernization, ultimately assuring the citizens of their safety.
The police forces in all states are updating their technology for the convenience of the general public. The use of high-resolution CCTV cameras with night vision facilities in Chandigarh Union Territory, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana is a case in this regard.
It resulted in a massive increase in traffic rules violators being caught and getting E-Challans during 2022, besides effectively implementing road discipline, that too without human intervention.
The Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) had installed 2,000 high-resolution CCTV cameras in Chandigarh Union Territory to upscale the security, check crime, track down criminals and other miscreants and also keep a check on violators of rules. Because of the use of these E-Challans, traffic challans have seen a jump of 163% in 2022 compared to the previous year.
Chandigarh would be amongst the few cities where traffic police personnel issue challans for “Dangerous Driving – Cycle Track/Footpaths”, an area where challaning is not visible in most other Indian cities. It is one of the few cities where road signs, including zebra lines, ‘Speed limit’, ‘No parking’, ‘No overtaking’ and other sign boards are prominently displayed on various roads, including the main sector dividing roads and internal sector roads and disciplined by using this new technology.
The number of challans for crossing the ‘Zebra line’ has seen a jump of 78% in 2022 over the previous year. Now, change in road behaviour is visible as most motorists stop before the ‘Zebra Crossing’.
Besides using technology to nab the offenders, the Chandigarh Police also conducts various educational drives on proper parking, not using mobile phones while driving, honking etc., in different commercial and residential areas of the city.
Chandigarh Traffic Police also uses various social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, where citizens post photos of offenders with the place and time of the offence.
Thanks to this initiative of the Traffic Police, the traffic now is more disciplined and driving is a much safer experience for citizens.
While tremendous benefits arise from going fully digital, the pitfall for the police force is the exponential increase in cyber crimes. However, the police have harnessed modern technology to detect and prevent tech-dominated cyber crimes.
Due to the increasing use of mobile telephony, digital payments, the advent of social media, and recently launched 5G technology, cyber crimes have increased exponentially in the country.
Dealing with cyber crimes by police departments effectively requires a synergistic effort from various departments like telecom, law, finance, Information Technology, Defence and Police. In this regard, technology has become handy for the police in ensuring the public of their safety.
Many investigation agencies across the country are now increasing their capacities in dealing with cyber crimes. For example, Punjab Police has started a drive to hire 3,100 domain experts to combat specialized crimes, including cyber crimes, crime data analysts, forensic experts, etc.
Telangana Police has been at the forefront with its erstwhile Telangana Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (T4C). Now, the T4C has been formalized into a dedicated new police agency, i.e., Telangana State Cyber Security Bureau (TSCSB). Putting in place such dedicated institutions for new-age crime will go a long way in addressing cyber crimes.
On the lines of Kerala Police Cyberdome, Tamil Nadu Police has started Cyber Arangam in partnership with IIT Madras to develop a cyber-threat-resilient ecosystem in the state and defend against the growing menace of cyber attacks.
Technology also helped the police to curb the poaching of animals, especially the rare and special species as well as those which are facing the threat of extinction. Assam Police’s success in using technology in protecting Rhinoceros from poachers had earned applause from all quarters for its exceptionally good work.
Rhinoceros — the state animal — is the pride of Assam and has a special place in the socio-cultural milieu of the state. The rhinoceros has been a major attraction for international poaching syndicates due to the high premium that the rhino horn commands in the International markets, especially in China, where superstition places it on a high pedestal for its medicinal and aphrodisiac value. This has led to unabated poaching of the rhino in Assam for a long.
Alarmed at continued unabated poaching, the Assam government constituted an Anti-Rhino Poaching Task Force comprising of the Assam Police and Forest officials to crack down on the poachers, their international and inter-state networks and their support system to reduce and ultimately finish the scourge of poaching in Assam.
Innovations were made in the existing systems and processes to accomplish the vision of ‘zero Rhino poaching’ in Kaziranga National Park (KNP). Thanks to the use of modern technology to achieve the vision.
Surveillance has become more effective with the incorporation of modern technology. Animal sensors were installed along National Highway 37 to prevent animal and vehicle collisions on the National Highway.
A thermal sensor detects animal movement along the identified animal corridors. Optical cameras installed records along with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system for ensuring compliance to levy environmental cess on the vehicles violating the speed limit and also identifying the vehicles involved in collisions and causing animal death on the road. Information about violations of rules by vehicles is now received automatically.
Further, an e-eye surveillance system has been installed inside the KNP connected with a control tower and 24×7 real-time surveillance towers provide camera footage of automatic weapons by Rhino poachers which is used as evidence in trials.
24x7drone surveillance is part of anti-poaching measures. The M-StriPES app is used to ensure regular patrolling of the staff.
The role of forest villagers and the local community is of paramount importance in the effort to fight poaching. The Task Force is active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and e-mail to engage with citizens and to receive complaints and information.
Rhino poaching is an organized crime in which international linkages and, in a few instances, the role of militant groups have also emerged. Recently, some absconding Rhino poachers were apprehended even from south Indian states, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland with the help of cyber analysis.
Prime Minister Modi’s vision of smart policing is the answer to the challenges modern policing is facing. Technology is an important part of the vision and so is community policing with a smart face. The progress is visible now and hopefully, Indian policing would become a guiding beacon for other developing countries also. (ANI)