Shillong, Oct. 19: The Meghalaya police today unveiled the "Secure-Safe-Shillong" project to counter the safety challenges surrounding this hill city, blending technology and partnership with the community.
The urgency to execute the project appears to have been triggered by the rise in the number of crimes committed in the city.
In 2009, a total of 848 cases were reported, while the corresponding figures for 2010 and 2011 are 902 and 997, respectively.
In the first phase, Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned for implementing the project.
The objectives of the project include controlling and reducing crime and antisocial behaviour, ensuring safety and security of public places like hotels, business establishments, shopping centres and residential areas.
This is to be done by leveraging technology, enhancing surveillance capabilities and reducing the response time of the police and forging a strong partnership between the police and community.
The Secure-Safe-Shillong strategy include procurement and installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at strategic locations and connecting them to the central control room as well as to the respective police stations in the city.
Besides creating partnerships and developing collaboration with public and private sectors, citizens and the business community are also part of the project strategy.
Business establishments, banks, hotels, restaurants will be encouraged to install CCTV cameras on their premises with ability for continuous recording.
The CCTVs will serve to deter crime and provide evidence for prosecution.
A plan will also be developed for the public to reach out to the police and vice-versa through an "alert network" for information sharing between the police and citizens using SMS and mobile phone calls.
An alarm system for the city will also be developed.
Speaking at a programme at Yojana Bhavan here today, where select citizens of the city participated, chief minister Mukul Sangma said the same project would also be implemented in other district headquarters of the state.
He said the police emergency number 100 would also be developed in a manner in which the location of the caller (victim of crime) will be immediately known to reduce police response time.
Urban affairs minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said street electrification in various localities of the city falling within the municipal and non-municipal areas would be launched before mid-December.
For years, the city streets have been without any electrification, which has endangered the lives of pedestrians while providing room to the perpetrators of crime.
Ampareen expressed concern over the lack of space for young people to "let out steam", which has resulted in making the youth behave in peculiar and unwarranted ways. She further stressed the need to develop the forensic science laboratory and speed up the justice delivery system to reduce crime.