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Delhi police take more steps towards modernisation

The Delhi police took a few more crucial steps towards its goal of modernisation this past week with the acquisition of a fingerprint-based Computer Remote identification of Suspects (CRiS) system and formal inauguration of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the crowded Sadar Bazar market, billed as the largest wholesale market in Asia attracting nearly a lakh visitors every day.

Police Commissioner K.K. Paul, who was present on the occasion, emphasised the significance of technology as a “force multiplier”. He stressed that with the burgeoning population and changing security scenario, technology has a very important role to play. “Technology has a great bearing on the quality of policing. But it takes time as the results are slow to appear,” said Dr. Paul, who has been credited with most of the modernisation initiatives of the Delhi police.

in fact, CCTVs and CRiS system are just some of the many modernisation initiatives taken up by the Delhi police in the past few years. Be it Zonal integrated Police Network (ZiPNET), the Common integrated Police Application (CiPA) project or the inventory Management System (iMS), the police have left no stone unturned to keep themselves abreast of modernisation programmes the world over. But a closer look at the modernisation programme shows that most of these initiatives are still in their initial stages of implementation and there is a long way to go before the force can actually claim to be a truly modernised one.

Even a year after the twin bomb blasts in the Capital, the proposals to install CCTVs at several busy markets including Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar Market, Central Market in Lajpat Nagar and the Walled city of Delhi are yet to see the light of day. The City Video Surveillance System for online monitoring of the traffic situation has been installed only at eight locations. The fingerprint-based CRiS system is in its first phase of implementation. And the much-talked-about Command and Control system is yet to become operational.

Conceding the slow pace of modernisation, a senior officer blamed it on prolonged delays caused by the indifferent attitude of the earlier chiefs. “Several projects like Command and Control system that were mooted a decade ago were gathering dust for lack of initiative on the part of the leadership. it was only after the present incumbent pushed the concept forward that things have started changing slowly. But there is no denying that several precious years have been lost due to the inaction earlier,” said the officer.

But now that the ball has been set rolling, the officer added, the modernisation programme has stumbled upon the difficult-to-change mindset of the rank and file of the force. “Technology cannot be imposed on the force. it would be adopted if it is found to be of some help. And there is a need to change the mindset of the force to expedite the process and make it a success,” remarked the officer. Moreover, lack of computer literacy among the rank and file and red tape have also hampered the modernisation initiatives.

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