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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

GPS phones to help police track distress callers

Faizan Haider, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 10, 2013
First Published: 23:17 IST(10/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:19 IST(10/3/2013)

If in distress, your GPS-enabled phone may help Delhi Police reach you faster.

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The police are working on a software that will give the exact location of the caller when he/she dials 100. This way, they’ll be able to reach the distress caller faster. The agency has written to the Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) to ask telecom operators to provide them tower locations of the callers.

Currently, a distress caller has to brief the police about his/her location. There are times when the police staff had been unable to locate the caller and has had to call him/her up to get the exact location, losing crucial time. And despite that, the police have been unable to locate the callers many a time.

“If someone is in distress, they need immediate help. We have invited tenders for installing a software, which will provide us the exact location of the caller, in our existing system,” a senior police officer said.

If the caller has a GPS-enabled phone, his/her location will flash at the computer screen in the control room. Accordingly, the person sitting in the control room can guide the patrolling van to the caller. The Delhi Police are also in touch with the Department of Communications (DoT) so that telecom operators can be asked to provide them tower location of the caller as soon as he/she dials 100.

“Currently, we have to request them for the tower location. Whenever asked, the operators provide us the location of three mobile phone towers near to the distress call, which can easily confuse the police personnel headed to the spot. We now want a software that can tell us the location of the nearest tower,” the officer added.

The current process, though long-drawn, provides the location of a call within a 60metre radius. The upgraded software uses a triangulation method and is more precise as its radius is 40m. But the police are now looking at a system that flashes the exact location of the caller.

This latest move is aimed at reducing the police’s response time and is among the various projects that have been initiated in the aftermath of the December 16 gang rape.


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