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Police use technology, ask citizens to help solve crime

By KHUSHBOO BATTA, 10 SEPTEMBER 2015

Vehicles parked in No parking area of

Bangalore Traffic Police are increasingly turning to technology to solve crime, recently launching an official app that asks citizens to report traffic violations. However, some say using that technology excludes those without smart phones from the policing process.

The Public Eye Mobile app for Android smart phones, launched Sept. 3, asks Bangalore residents to take a photo of traffic violations and send them to police. Since its launch, it’s been downloaded more than 10,000 times.

The app was launched in part to help compensate for there being just one traffic police officer per 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles, said Deputy Commissioner of Police. There are about 50 lakh vehicles in Bangalore.

The Public Eye app joins the Bangalore Traffic Police app, launched two months ago, which includes a panic button for emergencies, Kumar said. In the two months since its launch, traffic police have responded to 96 panic button texts, five of which were fake, Kumar said.

Bangalore Traffic Police also have been utilizing technology via social media. Kumar said the BTP receives about 40 complaints on Twitter every day, and about 10 to 15 complaints daily on Facebook.

However, some say that depending so much on technology excludes people without access to it.

“The social media policing will fetch benefits only for the educated ones and people who can afford these smart phones, it cannot solve problems of the uneducated and the poor class, which forms a large number in our country,” said advocate, M.D. Kalim Ulla.

Police say the benefits outweigh concerns. Police Sub-Inspector Ram Prasad said that about 85 percent of complaints made on Facebook and Twitter are solved.

“If social media is used effectively and properly by the citizens, we can solve many problems,” Prasad said.

 

 
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