Delhi Police are exploring new technologies to further enhance the performance of Global Positioning System-enabled Police Control Room patrol vans by reducing their response time to distress calls.

The response time at present is not uniform across the Capital as factors like traffic volume, road conditions and distance influence the general operational capability of the unit in reaching out to those in distress. The unit aspires to reduce the average response time to six-seven minutes.

One of the technologies under consideration is the Hadoop-based software platform to ensure a precise superimposition of GPS data on the city map for quick and real-time location of PCR vans that can swiftly attend to the calls. While GPS is a satellite navigation system that supplies coordinates regarding location of any object fitted with GPS receivers with help from four or more satellites, the software platform analyses the vast data and layers relevant information on the map to enable the location of the object or PCR van.

“It is one of the technologies which we are told will enable effective use of resources by precisely locating the PCR vans on the map. Feasibility of all such technologies will be explored to ascertain which one is best suited to our requirements,” said a police officer.

While in the past, the response time of PCR vans was about 12 minutes to 15 minutes, the officer said it had improved significantly with increase in the number of patrol vans on Delhi roads in the past few years. The installation of Geographic Information System/GPS-based automatic vehicle tracking system in the central command room in 2008 also enhanced the operational capabilities of the unit.

“In the central command, we have been provided with a well-defined 3D map.”

The PCR unit that patrols the Delhi city roads had, according to statistics, received 1.42 crore calls and transported 49,348 injured persons in 2011. Over 20,000 complaints regarding obscene calls besides 6,564 other calls from women victims were received by the unit.

“On an average, over 80 such calls pertaining to injured persons are attended by PCR vans everyday,” the officer said.

The unit at present has over 630 GPS-enabled vehicles, whereas 54 have been condemned and about 160 more are in the process of being condemned. Police sources said the Union Home Ministry, which grants approval for purchase and replacement of condemned vehicles, is regularly informed about the requirement of new vehicles. However, despite correspondences spanning several months the files somehow did not move at the expected pace. It was in the wake of the recent gang-rape-cum-murder case that the Home Ministry recently gave approval for 370 new PCR vehicles in the Capital.

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