'E-beat' Initiative Facilitates drop in Crime Rate in Gandhinagar

A new-age tech initiative that helps in constant monitoring of police personnel on night patrol has led to a substantial 39 per cent reduction in crime in the Gujarat capital.

While there were 77 cases of dacoity, loot, house break-ins and thefts reported in the first three months of 2012, a 39 per cent reduction can be seen in such crimes in the same period this year, because of ‘e-beat’ programme, a senior police official said.

With the ‘e-beat’ programme, senior police officials can monitor if the field staff is on duty or not. Earlier, there was no mechanism to find out if the field duty staff was patrolling in the night or not.

“’E-beat’ has aided in monitoring beat patrolling.

“However, the crucial aspect would be its cost-effectiveness and efficiency over the long run. Currently, the programme has been started on a pilot project basis in the capital city,” IG, Gandhinagar Range, Shamsher Singh said.

“Police personnel patrolling at night are given cellphone with Android software. Specific points have been identified where bar-coded stickers are put – which when pointed to the cell phone – sends signal to the control room about a policeman’s presence in a particular area,” Gandhinagar DSP J.A Jadeja said.

“This has helped in monitoring police personnel’s patrolling duty, which, in turn, has helped in reducing certain crimes,” Jadeja said.

The stickers are put at certain junctions which police have identified as vulnerable.

Originally, the programme was developed for Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA) by a private company, Electron e-Service Pvt Ltd (EeSPL), to monitor door-to-door garbage collection by civic authorities, the police official said.

According to EeSPL chairman Vipul Trivedi, the cellphones are customised with an in-built software that provides real-time location with the help of human intervention.

Civic officials also lent police a helping hand by informing them about residences from where garbage was not collected continuously for a number of days.

This input provided by civic officials aided in increasing vigilance in such areas, where families might have gone out. Gandhinagar SP Sharad Singhal said, “Such patrolling supervision and vigilance can be maintained in the state capital as the city, unlike other cities, has developed horizontally.”

“Unlike other cites, where there are more number of flats, Gandhinagar has more tenements and row-houses, which makes such patrolling easier,” he added.