Pune: Concern about the crime rates increasing in the city after the relaxations on lockdown eased? Do not worry. Pune Police have geared up for better policing and maintaining law and order in this pandemic amid the lockdown and now they have come up with a digital platform where the complaints will be addressed and heard online. The city police have launched a virtual appointment system for one-on-one interaction with citizens. This initiative will be known as V-Appointment.
COVID-19 crisis has brought a paradigm shift in our lives and the police force is also not untouched with this. The crime rate has started increasing in the fourth and fifth phase of the lockdowns as compared to the previous lockdowns. Most of the cases are about domestic violence, murders, attempts to murder, assaults and more.
The online system will kick start from Saturday in five police stations of the city and later it will commence in other stations too. The five police stations which will begin with these services are Deccan Gymkhana Police Station, Lashkar Police Station, Kothrud Police Station, Chaturshringi Police Station and Kondhwa Police Station.
Pune Commissionerate has more than 30 police stations which are divided into five zones.
Dr K Venkatesham, Pune City commissioner talking to Sakal Times, said, “As compared to the lockdown 1.0 to 2.0 where there was a complete drop in crime rate but from the third phase and later in lockdown 4 and now in the fifth phase few relaxations are given on the lockdown as a result, the crime rate is gradually increasing.”
Talking about the initiative he informed, “On one hand, maintaining social distance is an important task but how to meet the citizens and address their complaints was also another task for us. Thus, we came up with an online way. We initially came up with the idea of Facebook Live but thought it would be one way of communication but now we have developed an app for our citizens.”
“We at present have chosen five police stations from each of the five zones. This our pilot project and later we will plan to function in other police stations too. The citizens in the concerned police station jurisdiction can select the police station and see the available time slot for the appointment with concerned senior police inspectors. Once they choose the officer, they need to mention the reason for appointment and upload documents if needed,” he added.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Ravindra Shisve said, “This is a good initiative and the new method is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) secure, encrypted communication, saves travel time and energy. It is efficient of existing resources, works on normal 4G smartphones or even broadband internet. People can connect from a smartphone or laptop.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh is playing an instrumental role in planning and implementation of this V-Appointment system along with police sub-inspector Bhalerao of the Computer Cell in coordination with the software developer.
Explaining the process of such V-appointment Speaking to Sakal Times DCP Singh said, “Via Pune Police website www.punepolice.gov.in, one can seek for this appointment. Since it is an experimental exercise. The complainant is given a four-digit token number on their email, which is used to join the police officer at the pre-fixed appointment time through a video call.”
“A time duration of 5 minutes has been fixed for each complainant which can be adjusted by the official. Once the officer and complainant are connected, the officer can take notes on the complainant for the follow-up. He can also see the appointments in-waiting. The people can start taking appointments now,” he added.