e-Police for Crime Free World?

The police is an important component of the State machinery. Their role is to maintain law and order and establish the sovereignty of the state. In addition to the societal problems such as crime, mob violence, civil disturbances, terrorism, insurgency and so forth, several new forms of criminal activities like cyber crime, international crime syndicates internationally funded terrorism, spanning continents, etc. are emerging. This has put the police force under greater pressure to improve their performance, measured against a stringent set of targets.

Police forces  across the world are being challenged to achieve many different service delivery and modernisation initiatives. These include efforts to improve performance and operational efficiency, to enable collaboration and shared services and to strengthen citizen focus. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plays a vital role in this service transformation and is the key to enabling more efficient policing. As a result the police services, across the globe, is striving to exploit ICT’s potential to discharge its roles effectively.

e-Police is an important Mission Mode Project (MMP) under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Government of India. It addresses the need to improve the efficiency of the police force. One major step, in this direction, is the creation and sharing of crimes and criminal database. In India, eCOPS has been conceptualised in Andhra Pradesh to computerise the total policing by utilising technology, which is catapulting the state’s police into speedy processing, increased efficiency, transparency and better interaction with the citizens.

In this special issue of egov magazine on ICT use and police, we bring to you, these and various other initiatives that are being taken in India by police in its use of ICT tools. We have for you an exclusive interview of India’s first woman Indian Police Services officer, Kiran Bedi, who informs how her department, the Bureau of Police Research and Development, is using IT to disseminate information among police and citizens. We also have a case study on the Gainesville Police Department, Florida, USA, which informs how police has successfully employed Internet technologies to share the crime data  as a tool to better engage the citizens of Gainesville in helping to make their communities a safer place in which to live.

Also, in this issue we bring to you the experience of the state of Orissa in India, on the use of ICT for effective implementation of rural employment scheme. Today, with the help of the satellite network called, GRAMSAT VSAT, each job seeker in this state is tracked on web and details of each project are verifiable by anyone.

Wish you a happy reading. We look forward to your inputs and feedback on future issues of e-Governance that you would like us to cover.