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Government considering separate community policing wing

Friday November 25, 2011 05:25:22 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The government would consider institutionalising community policing by setting up a separate wing in police forces and allow law-abiding citizens to participate in police processes, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday.

Chidambaram said such a force will have an entirely different uniform than that of regular police forces.

Speaking at a meeting of parliamentary consultative committee for the home ministry, he said various initiatives have been taken in various cities and states to involve community members in the policing process, overcome the problems faced by public, and provide assistance to crime victims.

The home minister said some of these programmes have been successful and have continued to work.

He said different community policing models were being implemented in various parts of the country, and highlighted the one followed in Kerala as "one of the best".

"Delhi and Tamil Nadu models have also met with some success," he said.

Panel members emphasized that none of the community policing schemes was institutionalised.

"Ad hocism is another characteristic of the 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," according to an official statement.

Community policing is built on the idea that the community interaction and support can help in controlling crime. It requires partnership between police and citizens and uses different strategies such as foot patrolling and problem solving at the neighbourhood level.

It has been practiced in India for a long time, for example during festivals police engage civil society organisations and individual volunteers for crowd control and other activities like managing traffic.

In the meeting, the panel members said that the police-community relationships have mostly remained an urban phenomena.

The home minister informed the members that new courses were also being developed in police academy to sensitise police for their role in community policing.






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