Kerala to launch statewide community policing in March

February 25th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by admin  

Kozhikode (Kerala), Feb 25 (IANS) Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to launch community policing in all areas. Called Janamaithri Suraksha Padhathi, the project will take off in March. “We are planning the state-wide launch of the project by the end for March. The date of inauguration is not decided yet,” B. Sandhya, Inspector General of Police and the state coordinator for the project, told IANS.

Kerala is already running pilot projects in community policing under 20 police stations in the state.

“We are now experimenting community policing in one police station in 11 districts and in three police stations in three largest cities in Kerala,” said Sandhya.

The community policing was initiated on the recommendations of the Kerala Police Performance and Accountability Commission, which was constituted in 2003 under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court judge K.T. Thomas.

A community policing committee with 10 to 25 members will be formed under each police station. The committee, with circle inspector as chairman and the station house officer as secretary, will have members representing various sections of society.

It will meet at least once every month to discuss law and order issues in the area. It can also initiate various schemes as per the needs of the area and form sub-committees to implement them.

“For implementing community policing, the area under each police station will be divided into beats, consisting of 500 homes. In three months, the beat officer is expected to know at least one member from each of the family,” Sandhya said.

“The beat officers will be specially selected and will conduct home visits. They will be specially trained on how to interact with people. At least five to eight members will be selected and trained.

“The training will be provided at the state police academy. The community policing programme will be an evolving program. We will make required changes as the implementation progresses,” Sandhya said.

The programme has evoked good response in areas where it is being implemented on an experimental basis.

E.P. Musthafa, a community policing committee member under Chemangad police station in Kozhikode, is very positive about the initiative.

“The committee here meets on the first Sunday of each month. All the police officials at the station here take part in it. A representative from the city police commissioner’s office also comes to the meeting,” he said.

The committee meetings will be followed by meetings of residents in each beat area.

“Police are supporting us in our initiatives. We are keeping a close watch on drug peddlers and eve teasers in our area,” Musthafa added.

One of the initiatives of the committee is to stop the sale of pan masala in the area as schoolchildren were getting addicted to it, he said.

“There is a chance that later these children will start using narcotic drugs. The committee requested the shopkeepers not to sell pan masala and most of them ]acceded to our demand. Out of the 30 odd shops, only 12 are now selling pan masala in our area,” he said.

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