The Hyderabad police has won another feather in its cap, with its Hawk Eye application receiving a Gold award for Innovative Use of Mobile Phone Technology in e-Governance in the National Awards for e-Governance, 2016-17 given by the Indian government.
On December 31, 2014, the city police launched the mobile app, Hawk Eye – Telangana Police, to empower the public to better interface with the police and participate in community policing.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy told Deccan Chronicle that the app had been downloaded by 3.25 lakh users so far, and that the response has been overwhelming.
The app comes with crucial features for reporting a violation, reporting ongoing crimes including crimes against women, safety features for women’s travel, registration of tenants, domestic workers or employees, and an SOS button for persons in distress. Besides this, the app also provides contact details of police officials and gives options for providing feedback and suggestions to the Telangana police.
The SOS button sends out pre-recorded messages to friends or relatives of a person in distress, and also sends that person’s details and location to the concerned Inspector of the nearest police station, the ACP, the DCP, patrol mobiles and the main control room.
"More than 50 per cent of the users are women and even most of the men who have used it have told the police when contacted that they have installed it in the phones of their female family members," K Srinath Reddy, Inspector, IT Cell, Hyderabad Police Commissionerate, had told Times of India soon after the app was launched.
According to reports, the provision to report traffic violations has been one of the most popular features of the app, with 75% of complaints received in 2015 being related to traffic violations.
Earlier this year, the Hawk Eye app was rated first among mobile apps developed by the government sector in the countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) by the Digital Empowerment Foundation.
The Gold award for the app will be presented to the Hyderabad police during the National Conference on e-Governance to be held on January 9 and 10 at Visakhapatnam.