Crime mapping in Punjab

PUNJAB Information Technology Board (PITB), which surely deserves appreciation for its vibrant approach to help address problems facing people of the Province through application of modern information technology, is implementing a digital mapping of crime programme in the Province. The idea is to gather crime related information from different parts of the Province and store them at the central depository to given an idea to the policy and decision-makers to plan actions to tackle the crime situation.
This is, indeed, a step forward in e-policing and the project has the potential to stem the rising crime trend in the Province. However, there are no indications as yet that the programme is bearing any fruit to the people as street crimes are on the rise and there is also no reduction in murders, thefts, robberies and kidnappings. This is because no change can take place until and unless there is behavioural change on the part of police officials and officers. The idea of crime mapping revolves around the concerned police officers, who are supposed to record all incidents of crime taking place in their areas of jurisdiction and report them to the central database. One fails to understand how the Government expects an honest approach from these officials when they do not record FIRs of even heinous crimes fearing this would reflect negatively on their ability to check crimes in their areas. With the existing lot of corrupt-to-the-core police officials, no reduction in crime rate is expected and the project would meet the same fate as the so-called digitisation of land record where Patwari still reigns supreme. Police officers must exercise strict monitoring and vigilance to check crimes in the face of extreme frustration of the public.

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