Indian city installs novel ATM-like machines to register complaints against police officers, fight corruption

Published: July 15, 2014
Ahmedabad police ATM

A police station in Ahmedabad has installed an automated machine to register peoples complaints against police officers. CEN

CEN AGENCY

Indian officials vowing to clamp down on police corruption have installed automated machines where people can file complaints about officers that are sent straight to the senior police chiefs.

The pilot project is being first tested in India’s western Gujarat city of Ahmedabad where the automated complaint machines, which have been described as looking like ATM machines, been set up at the Sanand Police Station.

Without any charge and completely without the need to speak to a local policeman, locals are able to file complaints about local officers.

The machine can deal with different languages – English or Gujarati – and takes down details of names and other information about the officers being complained about.

“Ever since we launched the kiosk, the stream of people who would come to my office with the plea that the cops at the police station were either not registering their complaints or just not doing anything about it has virtually stopped. They now go to the kiosk and what they record there comes straight to my control room,” said District Superintendent of Police Gagandeep Gambhir.

“This helps me get a direct overview of how my officers treat the people and, in turn, they ensure public grievances are promptly attended to.”

The machine has several other features. To ensure there are no fraudulent complaints, a camera has been installed that captures the picture of the complainants unless they are rape and sexual harassment cases. There is a video-recording option for illiterate people who can neither read nor write. A helper for such people has also been posted at the kiosk but one could directly record the plea if a third person’s assistance is not required.

If this works out well, the officials plan to install such machines across the state and other regions are said to be watching it with interest.


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