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Touchscreens to help cops keep tab on,track stolen vehicles

Tablet computers will now replace laptops in the hands of policemen on roads,with a section of the Mumbai Police upgrading to touchscreens fed with vehicle registration details to track stolen vehicles.

Written by Smita Nair | Mumbai | Published: February 2, 2012 3:30:00 am

Tablet computers will now replace laptops in the hands of policemen on roads,with a section of the Mumbai Police upgrading to touchscreens fed with vehicle registration details to track stolen vehicles. The project will be restricted to the central region in the city and will use ‘offline data’ in the initial phase before gaining access to central vehicle registration databases.

The state government’s information technology department is hoping that this will work as a “periphery project” to the yet-to-be implemented Bangalore traffic model in which traffic constables use Blackberry phones to ticket a traffic offender.

The “non-intrusive approach” of checking registration details of vehicles,both parked and plying on the streets,using data fed into laptops was first introduced in August 2010 in the central region by Additional Commissioner of Police (Central Region) Vineet Agrawal.

Data of seven lakh vehicles from Mumbai and Thane was fed into the system in 2010,with the numbers updated every month. Constables were able to track discrepancies between the type of vehicle registered in the official database and the vehicle plying on the road.

“We are now going a step ahead and will use tablet PCs as they are user-friendly and the tracking will get faster. We have sent a proposal to get access to the vehicle databases in the central servers with National Informatics Centre (NIC),” said Agrawal.

The latest move will help the probe in cases in which the cars are registered outside Mumbai and Thane,which was not possible earlier owing to the limited database. While the CCTV-supported Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) project will take at least a year to be implemented,this improved approach is now being viewed as a pro-active method to track stolen vehicles.

The state IT department has now sent a couple of tablets to the central region as ‘proof of concept’,which will soon be used by constables on the road.

“In future,more databases are going to be integrated. NIC has enabled software that allows for integration of vehicle database between states. We are pushing for this initiative to ensure that we are better prepared to combine this aspect with Bangalore’s traffic offence model. This will act as a security initiative during nakabandis and special checks as well,” said Rajesh Aggarwal,IT secretary.

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