Hyderabad: Technology has helped the city police crack several cases, sometimes catching kidnappers within a day or tracking them, with some old-fashioned police work, to outside the state and arresting them.
The Hyderabad police had 122 kidnapping cases and Cyberabad 333 cases. Kidnapping cases have seen a steady rise in Cyberabad from 119 cases in 2016 to 201 cases in 2017.
The reduction in the general crime rate is attributed to the installation of lakhs of CCTV cameras across the city. Hyderabad police had invested in video enhancement system to analyse footage without the help of forensic laboratories to avoid inordinate delay.
“Being a city, gangs who target children find better options here. In most of the kidnapping or abduction cases, children playing alone in front of their homes or walking alone for tuitions or to schools were targeted,” said a senior South Zone police officer. He said there were also instances of criminals diverting the parents’ attention and fleeing with the child.
In one of the major cases, footage from CCTV cameras helped crack a kidnapping racket in August. Police arrested M. Yadamma and M. Jaya, members of a child trafficking gang. They operated in crowded places, and made away with children who got separated from their parents, said then DCP (North), B. Sumathi. The gang used to change the dress of the children.
Dr Madhusudan Reddy, staff scientist and CODIS administrator, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), said, “In addition to facial recognition technology, we also use latent fingerprinting or DNA samples from family members of missing children and women to cross-match data sets around the country.”
These local efforts, can be matched into a nationally adaptable programme that can solve missing women and children cases, he said....