SP Nitika Gahlaut and her vision for innovations in policing is modernizing Haryana Police
In a special interview with BW PoliceWorld, Nitika Gahlaut, SP Hansi from Haryana Police talks about her newly introduced innovative app 'Criminal Tracking System' after the successful 'Investigation App' that fetched Haryana Police third position in ‘CCTNS Hackathon and Cyber Challenge 2022’ organised by NCRB
A young SP of Haryana Police, Nitika Gahlaut has garnered immense appreciation from the Haryana Government with her knack of developing customised in house apps for investigation and bringing in technology in policing.
Nitika Gahlaut is the SP of Hansi in Haryana Police that falls under the Hisar Range. Known as her brainchild, she has introduced, “Criminal Monitoring System” to monitor criminals round the clock, a first of its kind to be operation in Haryana Police
In an interview with BWPoliceWorld, SP Hansi, Nitika Gahlaut talks about the apps she introduced in Haryana Police that also fetched Haryana Police recognition at the national level cyber hackathon.
1) You have conceptualised “Criminal Monitoring System” app in Hansi Police. Tell us more about it?
This is the first app ever started in Haryana Police to monitor criminals in the area. This is an in house app created by my team of Sub Inspectors who are qualified software engineers and know how to develop an app. The app aims to create a one stop information of criminals in the area wherein details from their photos to identities, addresses to whereabouts are fed. The app is installed in the phones of all police personnel.
This keep a complete data of criminals outside as well those lodged in jails. As soon as they are released from jails, the app will keep full watch on their activities if they are regrouping, meeting new persons and what is their next step to break the bone of the nexus they run in the district. If the crime is controlled at the district level, it doesn’t spread further into an organised crime at the state level.
The police department has an intelligence wing and they keep collecting information however sometimes, some criminals go unnoticed or there is a nexus due to which they operate fearlessly. Hence, this will make every policeman responsible of the actions. As SP Hansi, I am fortunate to find talented young officials who made this possible, specially Sub Inspector Nitin. Our DGP PK Agarwal is also encouraging young officers like us for innovative techniques for betterment of current system. A motivating and encouraging atmosphere is really important for such things.
The Hisar Range IG Rakesh Kumar Arya also approved of the thought that there should be a SOP of policing.
2) Please tell us more about the working of this app and how will police use this?
This app is installed in the phones of every policeman including me. The DSPs, SHOs and the personnel on field have downloaded this app. It is pertinent for them to know about the criminal who is active in their area. On one side they will collect information at regular basis and feed and on the other they will use the information for monitoring. At present, the app is a monitoring app.
After collecting a massive data of criminals from the organised crime to others, we have segregated the criminals. They have been given a list of criminals as per category to monitor. For instance, the DSPs have hardened criminals while SHOs have another type to monitor. This way the entire police station of the district have a list to monitor 24/7 through the app. As soon as a red category criminal is released from jail or on parole, the concerned deputed official is activated behind him.
The personnel are asked to visit the homes of the criminals and others addresses, click photos and upload the same. This is feeding real time data on the app alongwith the location. This also helps in zeroing down on the other hideouts. The app runs at the district level and we have been informed that gradually the Haryana Police will adopt it at the state level too.
3) Tell us what inspired you to start this interesting application of monitoring criminals in state like Haryana?
As a SP when I came to Hansi, I noticed there was no institutional memory where a new officer can remain abreast with information. For any new SP or even a SHO of a police station, it takes them four to five months to understand the crime pattern in the area and know which criminals are active. They depend on local intel and sometime, the tip offs are correct and other times they are misled. The criminals use the same window to operate and flee before the matter reaches police. In many cases, we saw the SHO used to receive information 10 days after the incident.
The police carry out patrolling but mere patrolling is never enough.
For those hardened criminals who walk out of jail, try to develop a network of young boys. I noticed that the youth are fascinated and get attracted to such gangs. They prepare more such gangs of minor boys as well as youth who commit similar offences and run their network. As per this app, the personnel are going door to door to see if the recently released criminal has approached the youth in their house or if the citizens have seen some old or new faces frequenting in the area. As soon as the personnel finds activity of this kind, he uploads on the app.
4) You have previously developed “Investigation App” that received third position in NCRB’s CCTNS Hackathon. Tell us more about it.
The “Investigation App’’ was conceptualised by me to bring a systematic registration and investigation process and making investigation transparent, easier and faster. Under this, an IO can voice type in language of English or Hindi, make sketches if required on the white board, use GPS for latitude and longitude, write in the pre designed investigation form, print it through his phone or tablet. These are pre designed forms compatible with the CCTNS functioning. The app also provides a copy of the FIR to the complainants/victims. This also helps the investigator maintain a digital diary of his case investigations.
The app won third position in ‘CCTNS Hackathon and Cyber Challenge 2022’ organised by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) and won appreciation from the higher ups in Haryana Police.
5) As DCP Gurugram, you had introduced an impactful application of a specialised desk for stolen vehicles. Please tell us more about it.
I thought of introducing an integrated system wherein the information on stolen vehicles in the city of Gurugram is there at a desk named as Stolen Vehicle Desk (SVD). Under SVD, special automatic number plate reader (ANPR) cameras have been installed at several locations in the city. These cameras record the number plates of vehicles passing by. The information is stored in a database operated by the desk. A police rider is deputed on standby at all locations where cameras are installed. Whenever a vehicle is stolen, its number is fed in the database. When any of the cameras registers in database pass from the area, the SVD gets an alert and notifies police and the rider to catch the robbers. The desk is connected to all police stations in Gurugram. The SVD is successfully operating in Gurugram Police though I moved to other postings. This was appreciated by the Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.
Nitika Gahlaut is an IPS officer of 2014 batch and Hansi is her first posting as the district police chief. She has served as DCP Faridabad, Gurugram and Manesar before getting posted as SP Hansi.
Interestingly, Nitika is a doctor from Rohtak in Haryana and her vision for applying technology in investigations and crime control has been taking many officers of Haryana Police by surprise and they have expressed immense pride on her applications that are being considered to be applied across the state in Haryana Police.