Technology can change the way the police controls crime in a city and can help in its early detection. Deepak Ratan, Inspector General Of Police, Varanasi talks to Manish Arora of BW SmartCities about how by leveraging technology, the state police can prevent and reduce the crime rate in the city. Edited excerpts...
When we talk about smart cities, cyber crime and physical crime reduction is the most important part in the smart city’s part, what is your view on that?
There is no doubt that there cannot be a city without a smart safety component built in that and that is why the police and the law enforcement agencies came up. I mean, we need to be really good at adapting technology and we need to adapt it fast because it is a world where the technology is changing at a blink of an eye. So, first thing is that the police and the other law enforcement agencies have to be aware of the technological interventions that can be made in the area of public safety and adapt those measures as soon as possible in order to give the best services to the people.
How important is technology for crime reduction?
Well, I would say that it is extremely important from the point of view of improving the efficiency of the police force and to some extent effectiveness also. For example, let’s take an example of a CCTV camera. A CCTV camera in my opinion is the most dutiful officer that one can have because it stands on duty, it is available on duty 24 hrs, it never gets tired, it is always alert. The human limitations that come up are such mundane tasks, hit over, riots. Also, it is always alert, it is always doing policing for you. So, definitely by leveraging technology that we have, we can improve our service delivery to the people more effectively and in an efficient manner.
How Varanasi police is using technology for reducing the crime in the city?
Varanasi police is using CCTV cameras as of now. There are a number of cameras installed in different places and we have also carried out study at some point earlier in which we have identified the places where we require red light violation detection cameras. We require automatic number plate recognition cameras. The process for that is under way. There was a project taken up by UP Police sometime back and it is all a part of that. We want to get these technological tools placed as soon as possible to improve policing in the city.