Policing in Mumbai is set for a three-year Rs. 300-crore makeover under which the best practices from around the world, including those of the Metropolitan Police of London and the New York Police Department, will be adopted to improve intelligence-gathering to prevent another attack like the
26/11 carnage four years ago that left 166 people dead.
The Mumbai police will get a control room similar to that of the London Met, with 12,000 CCTVs set up all over the city being monitored real-time by over 300 staffers, and a wireless communication system like the NYPD’s. The cost of this “metro policing” project will be shared by the state government and the Centre.
The government notification is likely to be issued by this month-end.
“This will be a three-year-long programme where the upgrades will take place step by step. To begin with, top police officials across the country, including the Mumbai police commissioner, Satyapal Singh, were sent to six cities in the United States and the United Kingdom, which have advanced policing systems,” said a senior government official, who asked not to be named. “They have studied the best systems and will be picking up some for us to replicate.”
The Mumbai police want to replicate systems like the London police’s huge communication network between the control room and patrolling policemen on what they notice on the CCTVs. Besides, the Mumbai police are looking at alternative communication modes using the Internet when traditional modes collapse in emergencies.
For more ears to the ground for better intelligence gathering, the “metro policing” project envisages tie-ups with private companies, area local management groups, private security agencies, and community leaders, to share CCTV footage and other information.
Appreciating the move, Narinder Nayar, chairman of Bombay First, an initiative of business houses and citizens to make the city a better place to live, work and invest in, said, “The Mumbai police are one of the best in the world but are still dealing with issues of lack of modern equipment and inadequacy of funds. This will give the much required push and put systems in place.”
On involving citizens and NGOs in the intelligence network, Nayar said this was the need of the hour. “We need to soon set up networks like the neighbourhood watch scheme in Singapore where citizen networks help police in basic intelligence gathering and maintaining security.”