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Cops to use GPS to track criminals

Delhi police will use Global Positioning System technology to crack down on criminals in a bid to modernise crime detection ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
IANS | By Sahil Makkar, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 01, 2007 12:55 PM IST

Delhi police will use GPS (Global Positioning System) technology to crack down on criminals in a bid to modernise crime detection ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

"We are installing satellite-linked GPS in PCR vans, which will not only provide an option to keep track of our officials but will largely help us in combating crime in the capital," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (PCR) Ajay Kumar.

"Initially, the facility will be available from (Indian IT major) HCL for 400 PCR vans, and we are in the process of establishing a master control room in the police headquarters," Kumar told IANS.

The new system is expected to start functioning within a month.

Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said GPS technology could offer numerous benefits to improve policing and reduce call response time to nearly two minutes. Currently, a PCR van is ideally expected to arrive in six minutes.

"The initiative was considered in view of the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010 and also under the modernization plans of Delhi Police," Bhagat said.

Kumar said GPS technology was likely to be extended to the police jeeps and official cars of all station house officers (SHOs), assistant commissioners of police (ACPs) and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) in the near future.

According to Delhi Police, over 480 PCR vans, which attend to nearly 2,000 distress calls daily, patrol the area of 10 police districts comprising 128 police stations in the city.

Explaining the new system, a senior police official said the GPS security system includes a police control room housing a GPS server, satellite and a network of PCR vans.

"Any distress call made to emergency number 100 from the crime scene will be routed to the GPS server, which will have updated information about all the PCR vans deployed in and around Delhi," the official said.

"After identifying the location of the nearest PCR van in the troubled area, the vehicle will be instantly directed through the GPS network to attend the situation.

"The GPS fitted in each such van will also provide the officials information on the exact location of the trouble spot on a digital city map," the official added.

The official said the new technology could easily be utilised to coordinate the action of a number of PCR vans and block the escape routes of culprits.

"We can also keep an eye on the movement of officials in PCR vans as a flag mark will move on the enlarged city map in the master control room showing the exact location of the van on the ground," the official said.

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