A homoeopathy doctor from Palluruthy went missing in November 2009. There was no news of him till two persons from Jharkhand were arrested two-and-a-half years later on charges of murder. Though his body was recovered in Purulia, a border district of West Bengal, he was not identified.

This could be a thing of the past, believe the State police, once they log on to the nation-wide Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS).

“Work is on to make the force fully digitised. Personnel are being trained and currently First Information Reports (FIRs) are being registered via computers,” said K.G. James, City Police Commissioner.

Though the CCTNS has been inaugurated at the State level, the district is awaiting its formal launch.

All police stations in the district have been provided with computers and accessories required for switching to the paperless office concept, but these have not been installed. The policemen say the warranty period is calculated from the day the machine is installed.

They are hence waiting for the launch to make the most of the warranty cover. No challenges there.

One major area of concern is the heap of paper files in police stations. At least for the initial phase, the personnel will be asked to file petitions both electronically and manually.

The personnel have also been tasked to digitise records dating back to a decade. “Data and photographs of criminals available as back as 10 years ago have been put on the server. Similarly, personnel have been asked to enter the case diaries during this period to the computer. We make 10 to 20 entries a day,” said Amoose Mamman, Assistant Commissioner of Police, District Crime Records Bureau, who coordinates the implementation in the district.

The force now operates on Internal Administrative Processing System (IAPS), where all departments of the force are connected through an integrated web portal.

Using this system, a Circle Inspector can track progress of cases registered under two police stations under his jurisdiction, a Deputy Superintendent of Police can monitor six police stations and the Superintendent of Police can monitor the entire police district.

But this will become more people-friendly with the launching of the CCTNS, as the public can track their complaint up to the point where a crime case is registered. For the force, the system offers the potential of searching for a stolen car or a man reported missing in a database pooled from across the country.

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