IT cuts police red tape, carbon footprint

IT cuts police red tape, carbon footprint

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 2016-03-16 17:24 Bengaluru: As any complainant knows, filing an FIR (first information report) is a tedious process. Unless you have the right connections, it usually entails a long wait, negotiating understaffed police machinery and sitting with the writer. Often, information is lost in translation.All of this, part of our creaky, colonial legacy, is set to change now and Karnataka police is set to leapfrog into the 21st Century.Henceforth, investigation and maintenance of records in crime, law and order and traffic wings of the Karnataka State Police, hitherto done manually, will go online.This comes in the wake of the Comptroller of Accounts and Auditor General’s report to the Home Department advising mandatory usage of the Police Information Technology (PoliceIT), switching from from manual record keeping to digital.It all started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s videoconference with the Karnataka Police at the Cubbon Park Police Station last year. Mr. Modi was apprised of how IT was being implemented at the police station level at the grass-roots level, much to the appreciation of both the public as well as the law keepers themselves. The Prime Minister’s kudos galvanised the police into expanding the facility.Last fortnight’s order, No. 03/ General/ PoliceIT/2015-16 – Standing Order 1013, was signed by the Director General and Inspector General of Police, Karnataka State, signed by Omprakash.The order informs that the PoliceIT application software has been installed and operational at all police units in the State and all the 925 police stations, 235 circle offices, 135 sub-divisions, 30 districts, 5 police Commissionerates, 6 Range Offices, 11 KSRP battalions, 2 IRB battalions, 6 basic training schools, CID, ISD, Coastal Security Police, FSL, RFSL and the Chief Office are mandated to switch over to it.The PoliceIT facility is being maintained by the Police Computer wing and the State Crime Records Bureau, house at the M.S. Buildings here. Work on the software began way back in 2005, with technical expertise from IT giant Wipro, under the Central Government’s Crime Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS). The pan-Indian network aims to cover the entire country, and its focus is to track all offenders at the click of a mouse instead of wading through paper, overlaps and oversight. sources said that the idea was to simplify tracking easily by such a network. All personnel involved have undergone training to this end in the State.Sources say all personnel concerned across all offices and police stations will use the PoliceIT app in investigation and maintenance of record, filing FIRs, Station House Diary (SHD) as well as charge sheets, appeals in case of acquittals, crime reviews and inspections of police stations by senior officers. It will also help them in reviews by using online data.Ironically, Karnataka, particularly Bangalore, one of the country’s early IT hubs, is a bit of a latecomer in this respect as some States have gone ahead and implemented PoliceIT.But praise did come from the Prime Minister when he reviewed the online system in Karnataka police.While routine policing is being prioritised, other modules like administration, finance, stores, transport, armed reserve police and training units will come under its purview in a phased manner.AdvantagesSwitching over to PoliceIT has several advantages, not the least of which is considerable saving on stationery and carbon footprints.It facilitates accurate data in investigation and record maintenance in respect of cases and their disposal, inducting professionalism. Moreover, senior officers can keep a track of and review cases, besides noting crime patterns and performance of subordinates.Police sources said that several districts in Karnataka have already dispensed with manual maintenance of records following the DGP