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Bangalore’s police force wants people to use Periscope to record crimes

Periscope, which launched back in March, lets users record and watch live broadcasts. Even though it’s been misappropriated for video piracy in the past, Bangalore police might put it to interesting use in order to fight crimes, reports The Economic Times.

According to the report, the Indian city’s police force looks to initially embrace Periscope by live-streaming its press conferences. “During our press conferences, we’d like to use Periscope so that people can see it happening,” said Bangalore police commissioner MN Reddi. “They can send comments and interact with us live.”

Reddi, who’s already embraced Twitter by placing his entire police force on the microblogging site and is apparently known for being relatively tech-savvy, said he got the idea of using Periscope during a conference last week in Mumbai.

Ultimately, the police commissioner wants Periscope’s usage to not be limited to press conferences, but to include people using the live-broadcasting app to record crimes and crime scenes. That way, the police’s control room can take a look at the broadcasts, pinpoint where the crimes are, and then proceed to alert the police in that jurisdiction.

“We hope that it will work as a live surveillance camera in everybody’s pocket,” said Reddi.

Separate from whether the idea strikes you as Orwellian, it could prove in any event be difficult in execution. Even though Bangalore is known to be India’s version of Silicon Valley, and the idea itself seems attractive to the affluent, it’s still difficult to swallow the cost of buying a phone and maintaining a data plan in non-affluent areas of the city where more crime can be expected to occur. In addition, mobile broadband speeds in the city aren’t fast to begin with, meaning it will likely be some time before the program gets off the ground.