Do not remain stationary for over 30 minutes, say Delhi Police

All the 500 Police Control Room vans stationed across Delhi have been instructed to keep patrolling all through the day and night and not to remain stationary at any point for long.

A senior Delhi Police officer said this instruction, in the wake of the December 16 gang-rape case, has been issued to improve police presence and to instil a sense of fear in the criminal elements.

The officer added that PCR vehicles have now been assigned beats and the staff is supposed to patrol the area instead of remaining stationed at a designated place. “We are able to keep a watch on the movement of the PCR vans through the Global Positioning System. The data is stored round-the-clock and no one can fool the system. This should help in optimal use of over 5,500 staff on the PCR vans. Though even before the December 16 incident the PCR vehicles were helping in routine traffic duties, but we were not supposed to patrol the area. However, now we carry out surprise checks to ensure that no PCR vehicle remains stationary for more than 30 minutes,” said the officer.

The PCR vans attend close to 6,000 distress calls every day on an average and rush 100-odd victims to hospitals; in the process saving several precious lives.

As per the Annual Report of Delhi Police 2012 there were 598 mobile patrol vans (MPVs), 12 ambulances, 10 tourist police vans and 115 motorcycles with the Police Control Room.

These 735 vehicles together attended to nearly 16.74 lakh calls during the year. They helped eight stranded vehicles and helped 32,499 people in hospitalisation. The PCR also nabbed 142 crime suspects after chases during the year.

With the Police Control Room receiving a total of nearly 80 lakh calls during the past year, it remains the nerve centre of the police department.

“The concept of the PCR came into existence with the revolution in the communication system and one cannot visualise modern day policing without it. Though the significance of the department cannot be over-emphasised, almost one-third of its fleet of MPVs comprises outdated Maruti Gypsy vehicles which are no longer the best vehicles for the job,” said another official.

“Recently one of our PCR Gypsy overturned while chasing a gang of criminals in Kanjhawala. The inefficiency of unfit vehicles becomes a problem when a PCR van has to reach a spot negotiating heavy traffic and congested roads. Though we have procured 50 Toyota Innovas, but it is a very small number. Ideally the number of PCR vans should also be increased to 1,000 keeping pace with the increasing workload on account of rising population,” said another senior police officer on condition of anonymity.

The need is also being felt to reduce the response time of PCR vans in case of emergency situations. “As usual practice, the call made to phone number 100 is attended by an agent or call-receiver who logs the complaint and forwards the details to despatcher. The despatcher then intimates the nearest PCR vehicle. It is a time consuming process and we are considering an option to cut down the process at least in case of emergency situations. In a situation when the help is required immediately, the call-receiver should log the complaint as well as inform the PCR vehicle. It will save a lot of precious time,” said the officer, adding that this proposal has been forwarded.

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