August 10, 2005

84 police stations adopt e-beat system in Karnataka , India

Rasheed Kappan

Constables carry radio frequency readers

BANGALORE: The Googol Beat Book is history in 84 police stations across the city. To monitor the movement and punctuality of night beat policemen, the Bangalore police have now installed Digital Beat Monitoring Systems at all these stations. Introduced first at the Indiranagar police station, this "e-BEAT System" is now part of the high tech gadgetry at 16 police stations in Mysore and 11 in Hubli.

Here's how the system works: Each beat constable is assigned a Radio Frequency Reader (RFR). He carries this to strategic beat locations (beat points), where tags are fixed with unique IDs. The constable places the RFR on the tag, which then stamps its ID, the time and date onto the reader. Once back in his station, the constable downloads the tag data onto a downloader connected to a computer. The schedule ID and the actual visited timings of a beat can be downloaded. This way, a superior can keep track of the constable's beat.

The system has an "officer's facility" to enable usage by senior police officials. The equipment and software are provided by Zygox Software, a city-based software firm. The RFR is recharged whenever the data is downloaded.

Under the earlier manual system, the beat constables used to sign in the Googol Beat Book kept in every police station. The officers were unable to verify the beat location and timing, and had to rely on the constable's data. The e-beat system was mooted following the discovery that the beat books did not always provide the true picture.

Beat plan

The e-beat system helps in planning the beat in advance with allocated readers and tags. With the system, beats can be scheduled and beat points of a Beat Plan maintained, Zygox Software officials told The Hindu . Constables could be assigned to cover a crime at a particular beat point.

Under the Beat Plan, the activity (visiting a beat point), the sequence (order) and the time of the visit are planned. A beat can have different plans associated with it, such as different visiting points during day and night or during sensitive days. The Beat Plans that are planned in advance could be scheduled for a given date. The schedules can then be printed out and handed over to the beat constable concerned.

With the available data, the system can generate a Beat Map, where a beat point can be added, modified or deleted. The police can define the sequence of the beat points, their importance and other details such as address, contact name and phone number. The beat activity and the crime criminal information system of the State Crime Records Bureau can be integrated by associating the crime that has occurred at the respective beat point. A new crime can be associated for a beat point with FIR details, crime type and timings. The previous crime can be assigned to a beat point by fetching the relevant details from the CCIS database.


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