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Microsoft powers Uttar Pradesh’s Emergency Response System

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The Uttar Pradesh Police needed to centralize, modernize, and expand its emergency management system to better protect 220 million citizens spread across 75 police districts. To address this challenge, the organization built a new statewide contact center and adopted an end-to-end portfolio of Microsoft solutions to support it. Police are now able to respond to almost five times more events in just minutes; crime is down; people are objectively safer; and the public has renewed respect for a revitalized emergency force.

The challenge of protecting a huge population

The Uttar Pradesh Police serves 220 million people, most of whom live in rural and economically poor areas far from the nearest police office. Until recently, the force’s 75 districts and more than 1,500 stations operated under decentralized control and had vastly different response times to emergency Dial 100 calls (equivalent to dialing 911 in North America). “In many places, there was a lack of resources, so we were not able to answer calls or dispatch police officers in a timely, satisfactory manner, especially at night,” explains Anil Agrawal, Additional Director General of Police of the Indian Police Service in Uttar Pradesh. “Consequently, we modernized the processes and technology used in a few districts’ dispatch and control rooms, and the improvements were encouraging. That was the spark that led us to recognize the benefits of a centralized system operating at the state level.”

A centralized solution to serve the entire public

To address these challenges, the UP Police created UP 100, an emergency management system built from the ground up to provide prompt integrated emergency services for public safety and security to all persons, including those with special needs, anytime, anywhere in the state. The UP 100 contact center typically receives about 100,000 calls (including social media messages) per day, processed in about three minutes each, of which 17,000 are events that require a dispatch. This is a load the organization can now readily sustain, compared with just 3,700 dispatches before the system was up and running.

UP 100 staff oversee a newly expanded fleet of 3,200 police cars and, soon, 1,600 motorcycles. Full integration with fire and ambulance services is in progress. Software based on the Windows and Windows Server operating systems powers UP 100 end-to-end and includes Microsoft System Center, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server for the organization’s Citizen Interaction Portal, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The entire project took only 11 months, including software testing and building construction.

The UP 100 response time goal is 15 minutes for urban and 20 minutes for rural contacts. “We’re already able to reach a remote area in about 22 minutes. That’s good progress given that UP 100 is just six months old,” says Agrawal. He also believes a key benefit of UP 100 is easier access to police officers. “Before, a poor person in an isolated village may have to walk 25 kilometers to go to a police station. Now, the police have the resources to come to the person instead. From any river, from any road, from any taxi, from any train, people don’t have to know where the police station is.”

Beyond the numbers, Agrawal believes the new system promotes safety and a better quality of life. “UP 100 goes beyond a traditional emergency response system. We are preventing crime,” he says. For example, “Thanks to the rapid response that UP 100 makes possible, we can stop robberies by arresting criminals right on the spot.”

Another critical benefit is more safety for women. “We get lots of calls from women complaining about rude or inappropriate behavior by men. With a response time of only a few minutes, we’re often able to intervene before these incidents escalate.” Similarly, he notes that the UP Police are preventing an average of nearly two suicides a day by reaching potential victims before they follow through. And in terms of violent crimes, he says, “We are rapidly attending to more petty disputes to keep them from becoming more serious.”

The UP Police are also receiving positive feedback from citizens. Recent surveys show that the level of satisfaction was 82 percent. For the rest, the organization determined that its units responded late, but it’s now able to continually make improvements. Plus, UP 100 has been praised by news media, the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the state government, and the national government’s Bureau of Police Research and Development.

But perhaps the biggest and most important change that UP 100 has brought is peace of mind and stronger public faith in law enforcement. First, by bringing all districts under stricter state control and monitoring through technology, there’s less corruption. Also, the average person now trusts that he or she will get attentive assistance from police just by making a phone call. “This is the game-changer. This was never the case before,” Agrawal says. “We have a history as a feudal society whose police have not been responsive to common citizens. Now, we are rushing to help people without discrimination, with no preference based on caste or class.”

Amplifying that point, he notes that contact center operators are outsourced to a multinational company, which means they have no incentive to minimize the concerns of people who contact UP 100. When an operator takes a call, it is recorded. If the operator determines that police help is needed, they transfer the event to the dispatch section and managers will know if officers responded appropriately.

As a specific example, Agrawal describes an all-too-frequent plight of laborers who are not paid their legal wages. If workers call UP 100 to complain, the organization now sends officers to investigate and make sure the people are paid the money they’re entitled to, which is not the kind of call that would have been taken as seriously in the past. If the contractor later threatens to withhold wages again, the laborers can demand their money and call UP 100—an option that has real force. Agrawal concludes, “The responsiveness of our police force through UP 100 empowers citizens to have a better, safer life, and that is possible thanks to technology that keeps us connected and accountable to the public.”

 

“The responsiveness of our police force through UP 100 empowers citizens to have a better, safer life, and that is possible thanks to technology that keeps us connected and accountable to the public.”

Anil Agrawal: Additional Director General of Police, Indian Police Service, Uttar Pradesh

“UP 100 goes beyond a traditional Emergency Response System. We are preventing crime. Thanks to the rapid response that UP 100 makes possible, we can stop robberies by arresting criminals right on the spot. “Anil Agrawal: Additional Director General of Police, Indian Police Service, Uttar Pradesh

“We are rushing to help people without discrimination, with no preference based on caste or class. ”
Anil Agrawal: Additional Director General of Police, Indian Police Service, Uttar Pradesh