Police Modernisation in Uttar Pradesh

egovAnil Kumar Gupta
Principal Secretary, Home,
Confidential & Vigilance Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh

That is your view of the IT infrastructure that is at the disposal of the police forces in Uttar Pradesh today? Why is it that the police is lagging behind in the use of better technologies for combating crime?
To an extent it is true that Uttar Pradesh police is lagging behind when it comes to usage of IT to bring efficiency in their working , but we are now picking up at a really fast pace. We are now close to providing connectivity to all our police stations; this will ensure that our police stations are able to exchange information in real time and thus improve their efficiency. We want to do away completely with the system of using fax, couriers and messengers. The online method of exchanging information is not only timely; it is also more secure and efficient.

We are also trying to take advantage of certain schemes that have been launched by the Government of India. The work on implementing the CCTNS project, which is an e-Governance project of pan India scale, is progressing at a fast pace in Uttar Pradesh. This project will make it possible for the police in the state to have access to relevant and timely information, which is of utmost necessity in the operations of police, particularly in investigation of crime and in tracking and detection of criminals.

The idea is also to have access to the data that other departments have. For instance, if the police department has a real time access to the data with the transport department, then we will be able to immediately contact the vehicle owner in case the vehicle meets with an accident. We have just completed the Phase I of the CCTNS project and now we are at the Phase II. I think by the year end we should be able to make substantial headway in the direction of modernising our police forces. We might be lagging behind when it comes to the implementation of IT in the police forces, but we are now picking up.

The work on implementing the CCTNS project is progressing at a fast pace in Uttar Pradesh

You began by saying that Uttar Pradesh police department is lagging when it comes to the use of IT systems. Why do you think the State is lagging behind?
The main problem is that the State has started late when it comes to use of new technology. In my opinion by now all our police stations should have been connected to the Internet, but that is not the case. Now we are working to achieve Internet connectivity for all our police stations. However, you also need to consider the fact that there are many other states in the country where the process of connecting the police stations through the Internet has not even been conceived. I would like to set an example for the entire country by making all our police stations equipped with the hardware, software and other tools for seamless connectivity. If there is good connectivity and the mobile vans are fitted with GPS systems, the response time for the police to reach the venue of any crime becomes very less.

What steps are you taking to ensure that the police personnel are adequately trained in the use of new technologies?
The IT training of the police is part of the CCTNS project. It is being done on a continuous basis. In fact, now there is far greater acceptance of IT in the police forces, as it is in every other department. People are getting used to using IT to bring convenience in executing different tasks.

What are the ways by which you are using video conferencing and videography to ensure better communication and better law enforcement?
We have now started using video conferencing for enabling better communication. There is video conferencing facility installed in this building, I can talk to all the police chiefs and collectors in all the 75 districts in the State. The facility is being maintained by NIC. With such a facility being in place, we don’t have to call the officials from different districts to Lucknow, unless it is very essential, the normal communications are done by the video conferencing system only.

We have effectively used videography on many occasions. This year we used the video cameras very effectively to ensure that there is peace during Muharram in Lucknow. The thing is that the real criminal elements do not want to be caught on the CCTV cameras, and probably that is one of the reasons why this year the Muharram celebrations passed off peacefully. It is a welcome development that today the courts have started taking cognizance of the photographs, videos, and other kinds of digital evidence. We would like to have security cameras installed in all our major districts.

Four very modern police control rooms are being set up in Uttar Pradesh. Please tell us about it.
The first of these very modern police control rooms has already been set up in Kanpur. The Chief Minster inaugurated it last month, in October. Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad and Ghazibad were selected for the first phase of the police control room modernisation project of the state police. The hi-tech police control room in Kanpur, equipped with global positioning system (GPS), computer-aided design (CAD) and CCTV cameras, is the first step towards police modernisation. It will help in combating crime and handling of the law and order situation efficiently. Expert police personnel have been trained for the new system. Equipped with Internet connections to help individuals to contact the police, the control room is fitted with multiple television screens and close circuit TVs. The control rooms keep round-the-clock watch and monitor traffic conditions across the city. Through this system all major roads, streets and localities in Kanpur can be monitored from a single point. Such a control room is expected to be up and running in Lucknow in the next two months.

These days the newspapers are full of stories about crime being committed against women. What kind of initiatives are you taking to prevent the occurrence of such crimes?
In order to control crimes against women we have come up with the 1090 service, which has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. It has been a great success; a number of other states are now trying to replicate the scheme. Several features of this service set it apart from other helplines. First, the victim callers are assured of complete anonymity. They get a patient hearing from the women constables who take their calls. Incidentally, these constables are young women, picked from the 2011 batch. Secondly, the victim is required neither to come to the police station to lodge her complaint nor to show up for any hearing. The third innovative feature is the feedback system. The first feedback is taken after 24 hours, the second after a week and the final one is taken after a month. If the victim does not get an abusive or vulgar call for a month, the case is deemed closed.