Mumbai

Eyes in the sky to help police curb crowds in dense areas

A drone hovers over a market in the city to check people’s movements.

A drone hovers over a market in the city to check people’s movements.   | Photo Credit: File photo

This will keep both citizens, police personnel safe: Deshmukh

The Mumbai Police will deploy artificial intelligence and drone technology to keep an eye on densely populated neighbourhoods to ensure social distancing is strictly enforced to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was given a demonstration of the technology in Worli on Tuesday. Joint Commissioner of Police Vinay Choubey was also present.

“This will help maximise the police’s reach in dense pockets and become their eyes in the sky … The technology will allow the police to address people and instruct them to disperse if there is crowding. It will also be able to contain the exposure of the police personnel if this is a contaminated area,” Mr. Deshmukh said.

Tuesday afternoon’s incident at Bandra (West), where thousands of people gathered before the administration could react. has raised questions over the authorities’ handling of the crisis. According to sources in the Home Department, such technology will be useful in future to control crowds.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, enforcing the lockdown and social distancing while maintaining law and order is putting a strain on the already stretched police force. On an average, India has one police official per 761 people. In Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, it is one per 950 people.

Mr. Deshmukh underlined how the current situation has forced authorities world over to think out of the box. “The Maharashtra government is also doing its best to keep both citizens and police personnel safe. The deployment of drones is part of that endeavour,” he said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:14:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/eyes-in-the-sky-to-help-police-curb-crowds-in-dense-areas/article31342734.ece

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