How Islamabad Police aim to improve security with the use of technology?

Islamabad Safe City Project aims at better policing and a safer federal capital

Islamabad Police believes that the force is well-equipped with expertise and technology to improve policing, make the city safer and win the trust of the people.

The capital police department has embraced several digital initiatives recently aimed at effective policing and restoring the confidence of the public to demonstrate their commitment to the community. The active use of social media by Islamabad Police has been the key focus to improve engagement between citizens and the police..

SSP Syed Bilal, the director of public relations for Islamabad Police, said that modern technology is being used to counter crime in the federal capital. In a discussion with Islamabad Scene reporter, Bilal discussed a wide range of issues including improvements to the capital’s security, a need to change common perceptions about the police and automation of policing process.  

Islamabad Safe City Project

Discussing the Islamabad Safe City Project at the office, the SSP said that over 1900 cameras are installed in the federal capital and about 1850 of those are operational at any given time. He said that additional cameras are needed to entirely cover Islamabad. The network makes it difficult for criminals to get away as any vehicle can be tracked through these cameras. 

Referring to the recent Osama Satti case, Bilal said that the videos from the safe city cameras were a part of the investigation and shared with stakeholders. However, he did not delve into further details due to the nature of the ongoing legal matter. Responding to a question about the increasing crime rate, the SSP said that it was the crime registration that had increased rather than the crime itself.    

Use of technology

Islamabad Police is also using technology that offers data-driven insights to help curb crime and monitor the law and order situation. The cameras are used to detect any criminal activity, especially in areas with high crime rates. The police force also has smart cars that monitor various areas of the city at different times. These vehicles have the latest technology available to monitor the nearby areas.

Drones are also used for the surveillance of different gatherings that take place in the federal capital. All these technologies provide feeds to the main control room monitoring the overall security.

There is also a central call center with dedicated resources to help people with their complaints. The center processes several thousands of calls every day. However, the police personnel complained about dummy calls that take away much of their time during the day. As per the statistics provided, close to 90% of the calls received daily are dummy. 

Road safety 

Live traffic feed of some of the busier areas is available on the social media pages of the police. It allows people to better plan their commute and avoid overly congested areas. A special wing is available for the traffic police to deal with any specific traffic-related emergencies. E-Challan system is also in the works which will send a challan directly to the offender with a picture of when the offense took place. It is a new concept in Pakistan, though it has been applied in other countries for a long time. 

Eliminating misconceptions

During the meeting, one of the emphasis from the director public relations was on removing misconceptions about the police force. He reiterated that the police force is here to serve the people and any complaints about the police personnel is dealt by a separate accountability department. People can lodge complaints without the fear of blowback.  

The meeting was very fruitful in terms of understanding the working of the project and how it is making the lives of a common citizen more secure. The discussion was also very heartening in terms of better policing being done. It is important that the good work by the police is highlighted along with its faults. It is unfair to not give due credit to Islamabad Police for the many improvements that have been made. 

Way forward

The constantly evolving digital landscape would require Pakistan’s police force to keep up with the latest but also cost-effective technologies to deal with the existing and emerging challenges. As Information is the life force of policing, therefore, data management and understanding will be crucial to modern police service.

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