Steps should be taken by the police to involve local self-government institutions and elected representatives in the Janamaithri Suraksha scheme being implemented in four police stations in the capital city, V. Sivankutty, MLA, has said.
He was inaugurating a review meeting of the project at the Government Guest House here on Saturday.
Mr. Sivankutty said the community policing initiative had been able to make its presence felt in the stations where it was implemented but the tendency to avoid the people's representatives should be checked.
He said he was not aware of meetings convened at the police stations in his Assembly constituency where the project was implemented and about the Janamaithri volunteers selected at the station level. “Roping in the local bodies and the elected representatives will fetch you more funds for the various initiatives,” he said.
He stressed that community policing should reach the grassroots. Stern action should be taken against anti-social elements and criminals. The police should give protection to those who provide information about them.
Presiding over the meeting, V. Surendran Pillai, MLA, said the scheme had been able to make an impact and turn the police into a more friendly force. Innocents should not be punished, he said, pointing out the alleged inhuman police action during lathicharge.
He said the number of petitions reaching police stations could be reduced to some extent and the police personnel could save valuable time if the residents' associations took the initiative to solve small issues.
M.A. Wahid, MLA, said a change had taken place in the mindset of the police in the stations where the scheme was implemented. “It is a good and welcome change,” he said. He advocated counselling for habitual offenders and criminals who come forward ending their illegal activities and laid stress on their proper rehabilitation.
A. Hemachandran, Inspector-General of Police, Thiruvananthapuram Range, said the alleged inhuman action by the police during lathicharge and so on could not be justified in any way. He urged the councillors and the police personnel to be on the vigil to avoid misuse of the Janamaithri tag. Illegal activities would not be encouraged and stern action would be taken if police personnel were involved, he said.
The councillors who participated in the meeting said frequent transfer of beat officers, Circle Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors was affecting work and the initiative.
City Police Commissioner M. R. Ajith Kumar welcomed the gathering. Deputy Commissioner of Police Nagaraju and the Circle Inspectors of Medical College, Pettah and Fort made presentations.