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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Years later, hi-tech police equipment gathers dust

Rajeev Bhaskar , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, October 09, 2013
First Published: 20:44 IST(9/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:55 IST(9/10/2013)

 An attempt of giving a hi-tech flair to the city police by launching e-beat and e-investigation system seems to have fallen flat.

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Even after three years of their launch, nothing fruitful has been noticed on ground. Even the hi-tech phones distributed for the purpose are lying unused in drawers of the station house officers (SHOs) concerned.

Even e-challaning equipment has not been put to use due to technical errors in all machines. Instead of sending them for repair, police preferred to keep them off.

To view the plight first-hand, an HT team visited the New Baradari police station, where hi-tech phones equipped with global positioning system (GPS) were distributed among police personnel by the then director general of police (DGP) PS Gill in January 2011. It was found that none of the officials possessed the set.

"We were given the sets about three years ago, but the beat officers never used them," one of the beat officers told Hindustan Times, claiming that the lack of training was a major reason for its failure. He said all faulty sets were lying with the senior officials.

On January 6, 2011, Gill had personally visited the city and launched e-beat and e-investigation system with the distribution of especially designed mobile phones to the beat officers. It was a pilot project and was later to be implemented in the entire state.

The e-system was launched to avoid delay in investigations due to conventional systems, sources said, adding that it was an attempt to bring transparency in the police working as under the e-beat system, a beat officer was connected with the SHO concerned through GPS so that while sitting in the police station, he could keep an eye on the beat officers.

Under e-investigation, a beat officer, equipped with a hi-tech mobile, was expected to visit the crime spot, take photographs and make videos of the evidences for future record purposes, sources said.

Even the equipment of e-challan, which was given to traffic police in January 2011, has not been put to use. An inquiry revealed that due to technical snags in the equipment, it was put off.
Six CCTV cameras, which were installed on the busy BMC Chowk around six months ago with an aim to detect crime, were also put on recording only without deploying cops to monitor it.

HT investigation revealed that even the PCR patrolling in the city is also on the verge of its collapse, as out of total 51 PCR motorbikes (with GPS system), 34 are out of out and parked in the Motor Transport (MT) section in wait of its repairs.

When contacted. Police Commissioner Ram Singh admitted that e-beat and e-investigation system is not in service and said "the system was discontinued during the tenure his predecessor Gaurav Yadav, reasons best know to him".

"As far as equipments of e-challing are concerned, technical snags developed in these and could not be repaired", Commissioner said while referring the query to Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) Lakhwinder Singh Khaira, who said that very soon all the equipments would be sent to a Mumbai based company, which supplied it, for immediate repair.

On non-monitoring of installed CCTV cameras, Commissioner Ram Singh said "although cameras are operational, but we could not use it for the purpose of crime detection and challaning for traffic regulations".

FAST FACTS

E-Beat System:  Launched in January 2011 with distribution of ultra mobile phones equipped with GPS system, with an aim for speedy investigation in the crime.  Beat Officer was supposed to be connected with his senior Cop through internet and right from photograph of crime spot and investigation report of the crime was supposed to be sent through e-mail.

E-Challaning:  Equipments for e-challaning were introduced in 2011 with an aim for on-the-spot challan for traffic violations. The hand-held device can also retrieve the driving licence history, if it involves previous violations and hence can charge the fine amount accordingly.

CCTV Cameras:  Installed on BMC Chowk in August this year with an aim to investigate crimes, but Police is not monitoring the recording so far and even no step was taken to check the traffic violations through camera recording.

PCR Motorbikes:  Out of total 51 PCR motorbikes, 34 are out of order and stranded in MT Department of the Police, forcing the PCR Cops to use their private vehicles for patrolling.

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