Sindh is going to fight crime by putting smart security cameras at toll booths.
In order to fight crime, the Sindh government agreed on Thursday to put automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at the entrance and exit of all toll plazas in the province.
During a meeting of the provincial government led by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the decision was made. Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Chairman Planning and Development Department Hassan Naqvi, Principal Secretary to CM Fayaz Jatoi, and other officers were there.
During the meeting, the provincial home department told the cabinet that the smart security cameras would take pictures of licence plates and people sitting in the front seats of cars. A statement released after the meeting said that the cameras would read the characters on the licence plates to identify the cars and use face recognition to identify the people inside.
The pictures would be sent in real time to the central tracking room of the Central Police Office. The home department said that the project would help avoid and find crimes by finding vehicles that have been involved in crimes like theft and hit-and-run and by giving early warning when suspicious vehicles enter the city.
The cameras would also be able to use facial recognition and watch the movements of suspects to figure out who they are and how they are connected to a certain vehicle.
CM Shah said that the project would cost about Rs1.57 billion and that he was ready to find the money once the cabinet gave its approval.
He said that the Sindh Police thought the project should be done between governments in order to keep security and dignity.
After the cabinet gave the project its okay, Shah told the chief secretary to hire a consultant right away and give the project’s contract within a month.
Cabinet limits money for rewards
Separately, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnijo told the cabinet that a team led by a DIG-level official had put together plans for giving money to people who caught or killed criminals who had done terrible things.
He also said that the project had been looked at by the inspector general, who gave it his approval and sent it to the home department.
The cabinet was told that the cops moved a claim when a criminal was caught or killed. But it was recently noticed that there was no limit on the amount of money that could be offered as a reward, and that the suggested amount was not based on how bad the crime was or how many first information reports (FIRs) were filed against the criminal.
The home secretary gave the example of a criminal in Ghotki who was involved in a single murder and kidnapping case but was awarded Rs20 million, while a criminal in Shikarpur who was involved in 29 murder cases was awarded Rs10 million.
The home department then suggested a prize of Rs500,000 for murders and kidnappings for ransom and Rs200,000 for robberies and run-ins with police.
It also suggested that the amount of the prize be capped at Rs10 million, which the cabinet agreed to after some discussion.
“Taking into account the seriousness of crimes like murder, kidnapping for ransom, and police encounters, as well as the principles of fairness and justice and the need to be careful with public money, the chief minister has proposed putting a limit on the amount of cash that can be given as a reward for the heads of heinous criminals. “This proposal will fill in the gaps in the current policy,” said the statement.