RAWALPINDI: With the government struggling to crack down on street crime, it has decided to take a more technology-oriented approach at preventing vehicle thefts: launching a mobile application.
Launched by the Punjab government the Anti-Vehicle Lifting System (AVLS) application can access a provincial database of vehicles which have either been reported as stolen, snatched, under-investigation, recovered, forensic testing, status in court cases and handing over of vehicles to their owners. According to sources in the Punjab police, data for vehicles reported in various crimes at police stations in 36 districts of the province has been centralised.
Hence, whenever a vehicle is stolen anywhere in the province and it is reported to the police, officers have been instructed to upload its particulars onto the central database through the mobile application.
Authorised police officers throughout the province can then use this application to check the details of stolen vehicles at any moment or at any place by simply entering the registration number of the vehicle in the application.
The authorities can use this data to track down the stolen vehicle without having to follow tedious, manual procedures. Furthermore, all police officials working in AVLS have already been trained to use the application.
Police sources said that data of all those vehicles, which have been impounded after a theft and later handed over to their owners after completing the requisite legal process, have also been uploaded in the AVLS application.
The government is mulling whether to grant the public limited access to this application and its database. The idea, some officials shared, was that citizens will be able to upload details of their stolen vehicles instantly on the application before going to the police station.
Owing to the instantaneous nature of mobile phone applications and the internet, details of such vehicles could be instantly circulated amongst police officers of the entire province. Theoretically, it will make it difficult for thieves to escape with stolen vehicles.
Sources further said that the application will also be useful outside the province as many vehicles which are stolen in Punjab, particularly those in and around Rawalpindi, are smuggled to different parts of the country.
If the information is shared with police across provincial boundaries, it will allow police in other provinces to could conduct raids within their respective jurisdictions to recover stolen vehicles.
It is unclear at this moment whether the mobile application has any satellite-based global positioning or tracking system to track vehicles.
According to the Punjab police, as many as 7,907 cases of vehicle theft and snatching were registered across the province from January to May 2019. Of these, 2,941 cases have been solved while the remaining 4,174 are still under investigation. Furthermore, in 416 cases were untraced and 323 cases were dropped altogether.
Rawalpindi Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Muhammad Bin Ashraf has directed the traffic wardens and field officers to take strict action against double and wrong parking of vehicles which creates hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic on the city roads.
According to a City Traffic Police (CTP) spokesman, all the field officers including Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and Inspectors had been directed to take strict action in accordance with the law against double parking, wrong parking and one-way violators particularly in congested areas to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
Moreover, he said, wrong parking which was one of the main causes of traffic mess on the roads would not be tolerated, adding, that vehicles and motorcycles found parked out of parking area would be impounded.
He urged the motorists not to park vehicles in the wrong way on the roads which causes inconvenience for other road users.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 08th, 2019.