On the eve of taking charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police, Special Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi in a free-wheeling interview with Shubhomoy Sikdar on Tuesday spoke about his priorities, concerns and vision for the force.
You are all set to lead the police force of a city where you were born. What would be your priority areas?
My first and foremost priority would be to create a secure environment in Delhi and to motivate my men to do their best and give their utmost to meet the goal.
The safety for women in the Capital has been a talking point in recent times. This aspect of Delhi is often compared with that of other metropolitan cities, particularly Mumbai which is said to be much safer for all women?
I will not like to go into such comparisons. The fact of the matter is that the Delhi Police have been conscious to ensure the safety of women. We have been taking steps for quite some time and had formed a special unit for women. After the December 16 gang-rape case, there have been more initiatives to enhance women’s safety and security. My focus would be on efficient implementation of measures so that women and girls do not face any difficulty in moving around in any part of the city at any time of the day.
It is not just about sexual crimes. Even street crimes are rampant. Only on Monday, a woman was shot at in East Delhi while trying to thwart a chain-snatching bid.
Chain snatching, which is primarily targeted at women, is a serious menace which needs to be tackled on a war footing. These issues are well known, but like I said earlier my task is to motivate my men to ensure that there are no half measures while dealing with such situations.
The Vigilance wing has its own probe unit now. Which other anti-corruption measures do you plan to introduce within the force in the coming days?
It’s not just about a single unit. Internal vigilance is very important for all of us. Corruption has many roots and forms. It has linkages with one being inconsiderate to a grievance. It has genesis in not being prompt while handling a case. Every case should be dealt on its merit and within the domain of law. If an arrest is warranted, it should be made. My prime focus will be to create an environment where there is a premium on being truthful and more transparent.
Do you think that some of your subordinates, particularly those in the police stations and on beat duties, lack soft skills while dealing with complainants?
I do not think so. We are part of the same culture and share the same ethos. We are polite and courteous. Then again, it is not just about the behaviour, a fair investigation is what a complainant should get as this is what he or she ultimately wants and deserves.
Has the system of feedback from complainants started by your predecessors been implemented the way it was envisioned?
Feedback is a continuous process and very important for the force. It’s not just about the feedback given by complainants, even a police officer records feedback when he returns to the police station. At the end of the day, it helps us to evaluate our own performance.
How can the standard of investigations be improved given that many investigating officers are saddled with numerous cases and have to make regular court appearances?
As per some well-researched codes, an officer can handle up to 75 cases in a year. And you cannot go by the numbers alone, the nature of the case should also be taken into account. Some cases are voluminous and need more precision and time. The situation is not that worrisome as it is made out to be but yes there are certain hassles.
In the light of some workouts in the recent past, do you think the Delhi Police need better coordination with their counterparts in other States?
We have a proper system for sharing intelligence and other information with other police forces.
Independence Day celebrations, one of your first major assignments, are just round the corner. How big is the terror threat?
We are living in a time and neighbourhood where such a threat has been there for quite some time. So yes, it is there but the Delhi Police have always taken adequate counter measures and those measures would continue.