How about a kiosk at a metro station or some other public place serving as a virtual police station using which will be tantamount to walking into a real police station?
With Artificial Intelligence (AI) being increasingly used in all fields of life, including policing, it may not be a far-fetched idea any longer. Realising this, the State Budget has allocated ₹5 crore towards setting up virtual police stations.
The proposal was probably triggered by the pandemic-related restrictions whereby complainants are encouraged to avoid visits to police stations and fallback on online services. “Initially, they may be restricted to basic stuff such as registering complaints and other policing services. But those virtual police stations can be scaled up to advance levels in due course whereby AI-driven tools can be used in criminal investigation, including evidence collection, filing of chargesheets etc.,” said Manoj Abraham, ADGP Headquarters, and nodal officer of Kerala Police Cyberdome.
Nandakishore Harikumar, who runs a cybersecurity start-up and is actively associated with the Cyberdome, said that AI can be a game changer in investigating cyber crimes if used for processing complaints and evidence collection. “Cyber crimes — and all crimes have a cyber aspect to it these days — offer only a very small window for gathering evidence after which it will be lost for good and that is a big handicap in their investigation now. AI tools can be a potential solution to tide over this problem,” he said.
Aid for infrastructure
The Budget in total has allocated ₹143 crore to the police, including ₹53 crore for construction activities and ₹45 crore from Centrally sponsored schemes for police modernisation. Proposals for new police quarters and renovating the old ones are likely. Besides, it will also help to shift many newly opened police stations having makeshift working arrangements to shift to own buildings.
“It may also help constructions required for the already announced sixth battalion of the Armed Reserve Police at Nadapuram. With superior infrastructure compared to other States, Kerala often has to seek exemptions for utilising funds allocated from Centrally sponsored schemes as they are often meant for infrastructure development whereas our needs are more advanced,” said C.R. Biju, general secretary, Kerala Police Officers Association.
The Budget has also allocated ₹18 crore for jail modernisation and ₹9 crore for Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau.