LAHORE: The city police have arrested 43 criminals from hotels of the city through recently installed ‘Hotel Eye Software’.

This new system has been introduced to tighten the noose around the hardened criminals.

It is stated to be the first information technology-oriented initiative which has been introduced in hotels of Lahore to keep eye on the activities of the criminals, suspects and terrorists.

Hotels’ data of guests being shared with police automatically

Making the Hotel Eye Software permanent feature of the security process, the police have linked nearly 500 hotels in the last two months with the crime database at its control room in the DIG Operations office.

“We have provided android phones to the hotels’ management and linked their computerised system to the police through the software in order to get details of all the visitors or guests,” Operations DIG Dr Haider Ashraf told Dawn.

He said the software was designed in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in order to collect details of every guest, including foreigners, staying in hotels.

“During last two months, the police had arrested 43 criminals from hotels of the city by locating them through the software,” the DIG said. He shared that through the project, entries of 194,000 guests were made in the hotels and guesthouses. Of them, 186,000 were the locals while others were foreigners. The system had traced 453 criminals at the hotels and guesthouses during the two months. He said the previous manual system of keeping record of the guests at the hotels was defective and faulty and it was not humanly possible for police to collect particulars of every visitor since the volume of guests had been in thousands, he said.

Initially, Mr Ashraf added, the police had linked nearly 500 hotels with the software programme. The hotel authorities had been made bound under the National Action Plan (NAP) to make entry of every visitor or guest in the newly-installed system.

Talking about the arrest of the criminals from hotels, Mr Ashraf said as soon as the hotel management entered their particulars or details, the employees sitting in the control room got alert about their notorious record and forwarded the cases to the section concerned. After verification in a short time, police teams were dispatched to the hotels to arrest them.

Through this innovative scheme in Lahore, he said, the city police busted two dacoits’ gangs.

“The complaints have been surfacing that hardened criminals were using the hotels as shelter after committing crime,” Dr Ashraf said.

He added that many hotels were still not in the loop as their owners were not cooperating with the police but efforts were on to bring them to in the network.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2016