Technology in policing: Operations Room started ‘to enhance interaction with citizens’

Officials in the room will ensure action on complaints received through sms and email

Muhammad Shahzad February 07, 2016
Officials in the room will ensure action on complaints received through sms and email. PHOTO:

LAHORE: The city police have set up a centralised Operations Room to ensure action on citizen’s complaints and to monitor activities of its patrolling teams among other tasks, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The room inaugurated on Tuesday last week consists of a Public Feedback Monitoring Desk (PFMD), a Map Monitoring Desk (MMD), a Geo-Tagging Desk (GD), a Crime Data Analysis Desk (CDAD), a Media Monitoring Desk (MMD) and a Miscellaneous Desk (MD).

Officials at the PFMD are responsible for ensuring action on complaints lodged through the 8330 sms service or at the [email protected] email address.

Operations DIG Haider Ashraf, who is in charge of the project, told The Express Tribune that the police officials concerned were required to respond to complaints received through the two media within 24 hours. He said complaints on which no action is taken in the prescribed time would automatically be referred to the desk. Officials at the desk could then ensure that the official concerned followed up on the matter, he added.

The MMD monitors the movement of 277 beat officers and 110 vehicles of the Police Response Unit (PRU) and the Dolphin Force. The closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras fitted in the patrolling vehicles provided officials at the desk to get live stream of crime scenes, said the Operations DIG. The desk is also equipped with technology to monitor the movement of proclaimed offenders, court absconders, prisoners released from jails and suspects under surveillance. Anyone moving in an unexpected area pops up on the screen.

The GTD keeps record of inspections of important buildings including educational institutes, banks, filling stations, religious places and houses of important personalities. Ashraf said that these buildings had been geo-tagged through trackers and assigned to relevant beat officers.  He said the officers concerned were required to regularly visit these sites and submit an inspection report to the desk using android smartphones provided to them for the purpose.

Ashraf said action on calls made to the 15 helpline was being monitored through the crime monitoring desk. He said the calls’ data including nature of call, location and relevant beat officer or police station was automatically updated in a database available with the desk. The officials at the desk were required to monitor movement of patrolling vehicles responding to the calls, he said.

Ashraf said another task of the desk was to update crime statistics every day and present them to the police high ups through info-graphics like charts, pie charts and tables. He said this helped better analyse the data.

Officials at the MMD are required to monitor news channels for reports on law and order.

The Miscellaneous Desk is responsible for keeping computerised record of FIRs registered in police stations across the city and challans submitted in courts. Ashraf said police officers could contact the desk to request a copy of an FIR and action taken on it.

Ashraf said officials at the desk were also required to update record of all tenants and guests at registered hotels across the city.

“The establishment of the centralised Operations Room was meant to help move from drill-based policing to skill-based policing,” he said.  He said the facility would help improve police’s interaction with the citizens and enhance their efficiency.

Ashraf said another step in this direction was the plan to establish 20 citizens facilitation centres. The first such centre was inaugurated in January in Allama Iqbal Town’s Moon Market. He said the second centre would be opened at Hall Road this week.

In accordance with the Police Department’s vision to be environment friendly, Ashraf says they will soon using paper for office work at the offices of the CCPO and the DIG as all records are automated.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th,  2016.


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