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'DNA' Exclusive: Cops look to Google Earth to cut crime

Saturday, 2 March 2013 - 3:27pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

The idea is to evolve and study crime trends in particular locations and then use specific resources to prevent those particular crimes.

The city police plan to resort to scientific methods to study crime trends in particular areas and take appropriate measures to prevent those particular crimes that are most common to those locations.

The police plan to use file extension KML (or Keyhole Markup Language) format — used for storing geographic data that includes navigation maps and other driving instructions — on Google Earth. KML was developed as a way of saving geographic information readable by different mapping programs.

Plan involves using file extension KML and marking locations where different categories of crimes have taken place with an objective to pin down a particular crime trend that is more common to a particular area. This data would then help the police evolve strategies to take specific measures to cut down that crime in that particular location.

Police commissioner BG Jyothiprakash Mirji said the aim of this scientific method is ultimately to bring down all kinds of crimes committed in the city. “The crime mapping (of this kind) will be done for each and every crime case that is registered in respective police station jurisdiction,” he said. 

“The exact locations of crime like murder, robbery, chain-snatching and others (obtained through this scientific method) will be attached to the FIR hereafter so that senior officers can then analyse the kind of crimes taking place in particular jurisdictions and take proper preventive initiatives,” joint commissioner of police (crime-west), Pronab Mohanty, said. “We are going to use the file extension KML in which we can mark the crime locations on Google Earth. Only thing is that all the police stations should have the internet facility. We are planning to connect KML directly to FIRs so that when policemen click on it, automatically the location is marked on the FIR.”

Most of Bangalore’s 132 police stations have internet facilities at present to support this scientific method that will deliver a surefire crime pattern to the city cops.

“All these days only the the place of occurrence of crime was mentioned in the FIRs, but merely with that we could not compare what kinds of crimes happened in which localities and the number of crimes committed in particular places. That is why we are now asking all police stations to mark precise crime locations using KML extension file in FIRs.”

For instance, Mohanty further explains, if a particular stretch of area in a particular police jurisdiction where motor vehicle thefts are repeatedly taking place, the police can now mark the precise spot through mapping (also with the help of GPS devices) and take initiatives to prevent motor vehicle thefts there.
“By mapping crime this systematic manner, analysis of various crimes will help us to take initiatives in crime prevention. We will then gradually start concentrating on anti-social elements specialising in particular areas of crime in a particular area,” said the previous joint commissioner of police (crime-east) B Dayananda, who is now inspector general of police (Economics), Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

A week ago, a meeting of all crime writers at all 132 police stations was convened in which they were all explained how to map crime spots using file extension KML and significance of its use. Following that, the information technology wing of the city police is presently working on providing an exclusive column which will take in the KML-linked Google Earth data which will show the location and the kind of crime that was committed there.


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