It has helped them in investigation and routine policing in Bidar
Chandrashekar Hangaragi has the most interesting headgear in the district. The assistant sub-inspector of police— who mans traffic in the city— has a camera attached to his helmet.
The thumb-sized, ‘always on’ camera records the officer’s point of view video footage all day . A memory chip inserted into the officer’s helmet stores the data which is transferred regularly to a computer in the traffic control room. The Bidar police use this footage to monitor traffic on the roads, analyse bottlenecks and ascertain facts during altercations among people. “The helmet camera is just one part of a data collection network that we are trying to put in place,” says Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar.
“Very soon, we plan to have cameras on the helmet or collar of every officer on law and order duty,” he said. Mr. Satish Kumar said the Bidar police were using technology to aid investigation and routine policing. Senior officers used tablet computers to capture images and videos of crime scenes. They used the tablets to capture images, scan documents and e-mailed them to the server room and to their seniors. “This has helped us cut down on time spent on investigation. Earlier, whenever there was a murder or an accident, the officer would write down the names of victims and other details, send them to the police station where a writer would type them, copy the details into the station register and send a signed copy to the Superintendent of Police’s office through a messenger.
This would take hours. Now, I get details of an incident within minutes of our officers reaching the spot,” he said. The use of technology was also helping the police find repeat offenders and fight court cases. Bidar was among the first districts in the State to achieve 100 per cent computerisation of crime records last year. Officers in one police station can easily access records of any offender registered in any station in the district. “Padding up a complaint against repeat offenders with details of earlier cases against them makes the case stronger. This data backup has also made our job of presenting court documents easier,” Mr. Satish Kumar said. Digitisation of records was taken up through the Crime and Criminal Tracking and Networking System and Police IT project. Biometric records of all those arrested for criminal cases were being collected using live scanners and fingerprint recorders. In the second phase, the data would be shared with police stations in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to help track down criminals who committed offences in one State and escaped to another. The police had entered into an agreement with hotels that had closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) on their premises to focus some of their cameras on the road outside their buildings. “There are hundreds of CCTV cameras in the district. The footage remains with the hotels, but we get it whenever it is needed. Such footage has helped us track a gang of highway dacoits and solve some bank theft cases,” he said.