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‘Safe City Project’ to prove a milestone in provision of security

By Shakeel Anjum
June 13, 2016


Contrary to conventional policing measures, innovative policing with assistance of modern technology is panacea to tackle prevailing law and order challenges and terrorists’ threats in the country and Interior Ministry demonstrate its dedication to make Islamabad ‘crime free city’ by launching of Safe City project.

Starting from Capital city Islamabad, ‘Safe City Project’ will prove a milestone in protecting and monitoring closely the public places, commercial areas, leading junctions and roads as well as VIP routes including the entry and exit points of the city with the help of 1950 CCTV cameras. The 24-hour monitoring will be watched and closely monitored in a control and command centre that has been established at Police Headquarters H-11 with availability of ‘Rapid Response Force’ to take immediate and prompt action on any suspect move as identified through CCTV cameras.

‘Safe City Project’ built by Chinese Telecom company Huawei with estimated cost of $126million will work in coordination with the Data bank of Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and all the videos and recorded data from around 1,900 surveillance cameras installed across Islamabad will ensure real-time monitoring on all the people and vehicles at important buildings, roads, key points and major portions of the city’s residential areas. All the data as received from installed surveillance cameras across the city will be transferred to command and control centre and all the suspicious people and vehicles monitored in the surveillance cameras will be checked in the big data with coordination of NADRA’s data bank and if suspects confirmed dangerous, the command centre will promptly convey instructions to ‘Rapid Response Force’ and allocate force to the site within three minutes to minimize the possible destruction caused by suspect and to avert any terrorists activity.

Training mechanism for officials working on Safe City project had been maintained in China and 200 persons got training from China to work over these modern technology gadgets. During training and initial phase, ICT Police successfully traced murders, robberies, car theft and many culprits of different crime taking assistance from this technological system.

‘Safe City Project’ is sequel of National Action Plan to ensure security of the people and speaking at the inaugural ceremony of ‘Safe City Project’ Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while highlighting features of the project stated that these installed surveillance cameras are not mere digital gadgets but will also be used as possible weapons that will assist law enforcement agencies to identify and detect vehicle theft, robberies and making identification of criminals, nuisance and violators in the capital city. The Safe City Project will assist and help police by keeping a constant eye on wanted elements to ensure safety and peace for capital dwellers in their homes. The project aims at making capital city ‘free of crime’ and in second phase, the Safe City Project will be extended to other major cities of the country to make an end to thwarted incidents and crimes ratio.

Pinning hopes with staff and personnel of Islamabad Police, the minister at the inaugural ceremony of Safe City Project made it clear that installation of Cameras will not serve any purpose until and unless those who were monitoring these surveillance cameras did their job with dedication and professionalism.

‘One of its kind Safe City Project’ will ensure innovative policing as police personnel cannot be deployed at every corner of the city but with the help and assistance of surveillance cameras, every spot and grey area of the city can be monitored and at the inaugural ceremony, Minister for Interior Ch Nisar Ali resolved to make an end to police check posts from avenues of Islamabad phase-wise through keeping vigilance with help of installed surveillance cameras.

The primary objective for initiating Punjab Safe Cities Project is to beef up the security for countering terrorism in the province. Apart from security, these cameras will also be used for traffic management in the city.

In its objective to beef up security mechanism to thwart untoward incidents and keeping check on suspect individual and vehicles, ‘Safe City project will also assist and prove helpful in managing traffic flow at main avenues of the city and in commercial hubs of the federal capital.

All aspects of emergency response relating command and dispatching and being capable to deal with all kinds of social security events and sudden emergencies such as crime, traffic accident, street criminal activities, terrorists attack will be tackled with a systematic approach to address such public nuisances as earliest as possible.

The possibility of any security related project proved successful only when citizens feel secure and ‘Safe City Project’ will prove one of its kind to make safety for city dwellers on the note that any one making harm to them or their surroundings will not be able to deceive the surveillance cameras to have him on their record.

With the availability of round the clock checking through surveillance cameras of all the corners of the city and key avenues of the city on screen, hectic patrolling tasks of police stations’ staff will come to an end and they will find sufficient time in focusing on other investigative tasks and assignments. Secondly citizens who have fed up with routine checking at police check posts will feel relieve, simultaneously, police officials will intercept only with targeted suspects as identified by the surveillance cameras.