In a bid to curb the “unofficial” use of police vehicles and simultaneously ensure their efficacious use in controlling street crimes, the Delhi Police have started tracking the movements of their GPS-enabled cars and motorcycles through a real-time tracking software installed in the vehicles. As part of the pilot project, more than 300 vehicles from 10 of the 15 police districts, including vehicles of station house officers (SHOs), patrol vans and bikes, are being currently monitored by the deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) concerned at their office desktop and mobile phones, through a mobile application. The remaining districts are in the process of installing the software in their patrol cars and bikes, a senior police officer associated with the initiative, said.Each district has around 200 vehicles, with around 3,000 vehicles across Delhi police stations.Besides the real-time tracker, the city police have also begun installing high-resolution miniature cameras in the official vehicles and patrolling vans. Each van will have two cameras near its cabin rear view mirror — one facing the front to record activities outside and another to monitor the activities of the occupants of the vehicle. The cameras have recording capability and are enabled with a SIM card, microphone and speaker, through which the live conversations taking place inside the vehicles can be heard. DCPs monitoring the live footage can also directly communicate with the staff present in the van and issue commands, in realtime, during emergency situations or while the van is chasing bike-borne snatchers, a police officer associated with the initiative, said.“The objective behind the new initiative is basically to ensure visibility of police personnel on the ground and that police vehicles are used strategically and effectively to patrol areas affected by street crimes. The cameras in the vehicles will help us monitor the activities of police staff present inside,” said RS Krishnia, special commissioner of police (south zone).Jasmeet Singh, deputy commissioner of police (east), said that it uses the geo-fencing facility of police districts and police stations to show the live location and movements of vehicles. The details of each vehicle, with code name and its movement, are displayed on the geo-map. The software also counts the distance each vehicle covered every day. “An alert is sounded on our system if any vehicle patrols less than 50 kilometres a day. Accordingly, directions are issued to the concerned SHO,” said Singh.The status of vehicles is categorised through different colours on the map. Green colour means the vehicle is moving while the red colour means that it is static. Broken-down vehicles are marked with black colour, while those marked in orange point to vehicles parked for less than an hour.