Every day the Central Police Control Room of the Delhi Police receives 25,000 calls on the police assistance number “100.” Of these, somewhere between 5,000-7,500 calls are “actionable” meaning a PCR van has to visit the spot and the police department is making all efforts to reduce its response time in attending to these calls.
For this, the police have a fleet of 791 PCR vans but besides responding to the ‘actionable’ calls, the vans have to perform other roles such as managing VIP security and crime prevention on the streets. Till recently, direct connectivity between the Central Police Control Room (CPCR) and the police stations was not available.
In the last two months, the connectivity has been introduced in seven out of the 11 police districts in the city as a pilot project. The installation and commissioning has taken place in seven police districts – East, West, South, North, North West, New Delhi and Central Delhi – and the results have been encouraging. It was first started in Central District and gradually the facility was introduced in other districts as well.
Under the present system, when a caller dials the three digit police assistance number 100, the call is received by an operator in the CPCR located on the third floor of the Police Headquarters (PHQ). The operator keys in the information on an online form. This information is then sent to a dispatcher who also sits in the PHQ.
It is the dispatcher’s job to locate the closest PCR van with the help of a GPS system which provides their real time location. In case the van has already been informed about some other incident, the dispatcher sends it to another van which can reach the spot in the shortest duration.
The van, once it reaches the site where a police intervention is sought, instantly gives a ‘ground report’ to the CPCR. In case a medical assistance is to be given, it is the PCR van which provides it. This can be either providing an initial first aid or rushing an injured to the nearby hospital. The PCR staff then informs the local district control room (DCU) and DCU informs the police station concerned. This usually takes nearly 20 minutes for the police station staff to reach the spot and relieve the PCR vans.
Within the new system, consoles with attendants have been set up at the police stations. The information sent by the operator is simultaneously conveyed to four locations – the concerned PCR van, the dispatcher, the CCTV camera surveillance system of the district and also the attendant’s console. The attendant then passes it on to the "emergency officer" or the beat officer who then reaches the site.
How this will help? A senior police officer said this would reduce the time for the local police to reach the spot and enable the centrally monitored PCR service to attend more distress calls within the same time. For instance if a PCR van attends five calls in an hour, the new system would help it increase the count to seven. In such a scenario, it is also likely that in some cases the emergency officer reaches before the PCR van making the duration of its stay even shorter.
The detailed ground report then has to be compiled by the local police and only after its submission would the call be declared closed ensuring a better scrutiny. Till then, the main console at the CPCR would show the distress call as "pending".