Spurt in ‘new-age’ crimes: Assam ramps up surveillance; FIRs can soon be filed online  
Himanta Biswa Sarma chairs a police review meeting at the Assam Police Headquarters in Guwahati

Guwahati: Very soon, people in Assam will soon be able to register first information reports (FIRs) in police stations online.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday informed that about 20 services of the state police force would soon be made accessible to people in the comfort of their homes.

Speaking on the upgrade of services of Assam Police, the chief minister said that very soon people would be able to register FIRs without coming to the police stations.

“As many as Assam Police 20 services will be made available through a mobile application and people can register an FIR online,” he said.

Sarma said this after chairing the first phase of a crucial police review meeting at the Assam Police headquarters in Ulubari where he took stock of police preparedness to deal with new-age crimes and the development of human intelligence.

The chief minister, in the presence of senior officials of the home and police departments, also reviewed the functioning of the city police department in order to improve policing in Guwahati, which is Northeast’s largest city and make it crime free.

“Today, we reviewed the city camera installation project threadbare in the meeting. We believe that with the support and cooperation of the people of Guwahati, the government can install as many as 50,000 closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in government and private offices, commercial establishments, shops with more than five employees each, as well as in private apartments in Guwahati by Durga Puja next year,” Sarma said.

“The cameras have to be registered with the Assam Police’s portal before installation and have a storage capacity of 30 days at least,” the chief minister said.

He further said that officers-in-charge of police stations (OCs) and sub-inspectors (SIs) would not be able to randomly check the CCTVs installed in private residential complexes and that legal notices have to be served for the purpose.

“From now on, it will be mandatory for all residential apartments to install CCTVs.  Such surveillance cameras will have to be installed in the residences of overseas residents who have parents staying alone in the city or working couples who have children,” the chief minister said.

He reiterated that a new law would come into force by April this year to make the installation of CCTV cameras mandatory in all commercial establishments and shops, having more than five employees. “In this regard, we will soon pass a new legislation in the Assam Assembly,” he added.

Sarma further informed that the Assam DGP would on January 16 interact with media persons in a detailed manner and throw light on the crime trends in the state last year as well as the trends in the previous year

“We have decided that the state DGP will address an annual media conference in January every year where SPs will be virtually present as well. The police officials will take questions from media persons at the conference,” he said.

The chief minister also informed that a member each from nearly 300 families of Assam Police martyrs would be provided government jobs during a programme scheduled for January 25, 2023.

Notably, amid a spurt in crimes in the city last month, the chief minister had recently, admitted before the media, that human intelligence was found wanting to an extent in the Guwahati police department in regard to tackling crimes in December 2022.

“However, we also have to take into consideration the fact that along with the police adopting new methods to tackle crimes, the criminals too are changing their techniques and tactics,” Sarma said, adding that the city police have recovered some ground after the setback last month.

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