Separate Community Policing Wing Considered

Government will consider setting up a separate wing for Community Policing with entirely different uniform. This was stated by the Union Home Minister Sh. P. Chidambaram, while replying to suggestions of Members of the Consultative Committee for Ministry of Home Affairs here today. While discussing ‘Community Policing’, Members stressed the need to make it effective for each region by taking into account their different needs.

Various initiatives have been taken by the Police in different cities and States to involve the community in the process of policing, to overcome the problems faced by the public and the police, and to provide assistance to victims of crime. The Union Home Minster said that some of these programmes have been successful and have continued to work even after the individuals who have initiated these programmes have moved on to other responsibilities. Different Community Policing (CoP) Models are being implemented in various parts of the country. Shri P. Chidambaram said that the Kerala model was one of the best, while Delhi & Tamil Nadu madels have also met with some success. There have been narrower initiatives in other states but they need to be supported & extended. The Union Home Minister also informed the members that new Courses are also being developed in policy academy to sensitise the Police for their role in Community Policing.

Members emphasized that none of the CoP schemes were really institutionalized. Adhocism is another characteristic of the CoP efforts in India. Some of the reasons outlined by members were that the experiments and programmes are not always tailored to community’s needs. They work well in times of crisis. Once the emergency passes, they lose momentum. The Police-Community relationships have mostly remained an urban phenomena. Suspicion and misunderstanding creep in after some time. The programmes are sometimes weighed in favour of preventing property offences. Some individual police officers make a difference. When they leave, the programme suffers.

The members were unanimous in their opinion that more beat constables are required all over the country. They expressed concern over vacancies in law enforcement agencies, poor infrastructure and low morale. Sh. P. Chidambaram agreed that there are serous difficulties being faced by states in implementing Community Policing Programme, with blocks in India without a Police Station due to severe shortage of constables.

The members who attended the meeting included Shri Mullappally Ramachandran, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Shri Khagen Das, CPI (M), Shri M.Venugopala Reddy, TDP, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, INC, Dr. Ashok Sekhar Ganguly, Shri Bhubaneswar Kalita, INC, Shri H.K. Dua, Dr. K. Keshava Rao, INC, and Shri Mohd. Ali Khan, INC.

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