Creating a safer city with digital technology

Increasing the effectiveness of Belgrade Police by developing custom software solutions

Around 28,000 members of the Belgrade Police serve a population of 1.6 million residents in the capital city, which also includes over two million registered passenger cars. During their shifts, officers had to check license registration plates manually, by reading and noting the plate numbers and checking them against various lists in the database. This process was time-intensive and inefficient: checking plates was dependent on the weather, viewing angle, and nearly impossible in moving traffic.

The City of Belgrade sought a technological solution for its Police Administration which would expand department efficiency without enlarging the police force. Therefore, the priority was put on maximizing available resources using a technological solution that would help officers process queries faster and in an automated manner.

To make the most of limited resources, both in human capital and infrastructure, Comtrade System Integration decided to optimize staff workflow and data capture by developing an automated system with cameras, workstations and a method to scan, save and store registration plate data.

The Comtrade team designed a two-part system, using Apache Kafka, an open-source streaming distribution platform, supported by the IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration solution, used to gather, distribute and process data in real time. Both parts of this solution have the capability to work together and communicate with each other, with real-time storing and processing of data into reports. The first part is a cruiser-based subsystem that consists of cameras, software, and workstations. The second handles the data storage and processing, among other tasks, and is installed at the Ministry of the Interior’s data center.

The camera systems installed in the police cars provide officers with easy, fast and efficient registration plate scanning from multiple angles, even in traffic. Now officers can scan registration plates without even having to exit their vehicles.

Utilizing the expertise of Comtrade System Integration, the Police Administration now has a custom-designed camera and registration plate scanning system which has massively improved the information and communication capacity and operational work of the police. The City of Belgrade officers can now work more efficiently, while being able to do more with less effort, which in the end greatly enhances the safety of all citizens.

Article about the development of this solution was first published by IBM and is available for reading here.