Again on February 6, a 65-year-old widow Alo Majumder, who had no one to look after her, was found with her throat slit in her flat at Taltala.
These two are examples of many such similar incidents in which elderly people were killed at the dead of the night in the city and valuables were stolen from their flats.
Such incidents had prompted the Kolkata Police to come up with techniques using smart phones for the first time that would curb the crimes involving elderly people.
The city police are developing a unique mobile phone app and smart registration card for all the 13,600 members of the city police’s project for senior citizens called Pronam, which was initiated a few years ago to provide assistance to the city’s elderly people mainly those who stay alone.
The top brass of the city police are considering that the crime against elderly people will come down sharply once the app is introduced.
Describing the unique features of the mobile phone app that will also be named “Pronam”, a police officer said as soon as an elderly person opens the app they will get a dedicated key. They just need to press the key during any emergency and four different persons including a policeman from the nearest police station will get phone calls at the same time alerting them that the elderly person needs their assistance. SMS will also be sent out to the same four persons.
The most unique feature of the app is that the mobile phone will start capturing video footages immediately besides alerting the four persons.
The alert calls will land up in the cell phone of a policeman from local police station who is also the liaison officer of the project Pronam in that particular area, the central helpline number of the same project and also to the phone of the nearest contact person as provided by the elderly person.
Till the police reach the spot, the video recording in the mobile phone of the elderly person will continue. In case of any crime taking place, the video footages will help the police in easy detection.
When asked if it’s always necessary that the camera of the mobile phone will remain focused at the crime scene, the police officer said that at least it will capture the conversation that will take place at the spot and it will be of immense help to detect a crime.
The officer maintained that the crime history of the city shows that elderly people from affluent and upper middle classes were mainly attacked and elderly people from these families in the city talk with their children, those reside abroad, using applications like Skype. Thus technology is not a big problem. If any member of Pronam faces problem in downloading the app, then they will be helped by the local liaison officer.
In another major development, all the members of Pronam will be getting smart registration cards replacing the old ones. The new magnetic cards will also contain QR Code printed on it. If an elderly person is ill and not in a condition to speak, then card will help the medical assistants to get all medical history of the person.
Just the medical assistants need to scan the QR Code in the mobile phone and they will get the medical history of the person in the mobile phones within a few seconds.
There will be a dedicated team those will keep updating the data online as soon as a Pronam member informs about the changes in his or her medication on day to day basis.
The police officer said that it is no more a dream as the task is near completion and all the technologies will be introduced soon.