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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Police reforms to go hi-tech fall flat

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, February 24, 2013
First Published: 19:02 IST(24/2/2013) | Last Updated: 19:54 IST(24/2/2013)

Two years after a pilot project to introduce technology into policing was initiated in Jalandhar, the plan seems to have gone awry. 

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The e-beat and e-investigation systems meant for enhanced supervision and quick and scientific investigation, respectively has simply petered out. The hi-tech phones are lying in the drawers of concerned Station House Officers (SHOs).

An HT team visited the New Baradari police station and inquired about the ultra modern phone sets, claimed to have connected with Global Positioning System (GPS). However, no beat officer was seen carrying the same.

"We were provided with such phone sets two years ago, but these were never used," a beat officer said.

He claimed that lack of training to cops on using the phones was a major reason for the project's failure.

The beat officer also claimed that all such hi-tech phones had developed faults and were now in the custody of senior officials.

On January 6, 2011, the then DGP PS Gill had visited the city and launched the e-beat and e-investigation system with the distribution of custom-designed mobile phones to beat officers.

It was a pilot project in the state police and later on was to be implemented in entire state.

Aim of the launching of e-system was to avoid delay in investigation, sources said. It was an attempt to bring transparency in the working of the police. Under the e-beat system, the beat officer was connected with the concerned SHO through GPS, so that proper supervision could be ensured.

Under e-investigation, a beat officer, equipped with the hi-tech mobiles was expected to visit the crime spot, take photographs and make videos of the evidences for the record, sources said.When contacted, additional commissioner of police (ADCP) City I, Naresh Dogra said "I am not aware of any such e-system, as it was launched much before my joining the post."

However, on the condition of anonymity, senior police officer said that since it was a pilot project by the former DGP, nobody, especially concerned SHOs took any interest in the e-system, which was a major reason of its failure.

When contacted, police commissioner Gaurav Yadav claimed that the e-system was in existence and had been integrated with the other police reforms.

"I am telling ADCP Diljinder Singh Dhillon to explain you everything," he added.

Dhillon claimed that battery back-up of the phones provided to cops was of short duration and this was a major reason for the failure of the project.

"The main server of the Noida-based company Huristic was also not of much help in this issue," he said.

"Due to the GPS system, the battery of phone used to last just for one or two hours, so making it non-functional, when it was really required."

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