Staff Reporter

People’s committees to help the police gather intelligence on criminals and strangers

More women constables to be deployed for law and order duty

Thiruvananthapuram: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said that the government will raise a volunteer force of able-bodied youth to assist the police and rescue services in disaster management.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the Janamaithri Suraksha Scheme (the government’s community policing initiative), Mr. Kodiyeri said people’s committees comprising elected representatives and heads of educational institutions, would be constituted at the police station-level for implementing the scheme.

The committees would have no say in the investigation of cases or handling of law and order situations. The committees would help law enforcers devise location specific policing strategies. The bodies would work in tandem with the police to extend legal aid, financial help and social support to victims of crime. The committees would help the police gather intelligence on criminals and strangers.

The police would place complaint boxes in public places and verify the background of strangers (in a non intrusive manner and with respect to their privacy) who settle in the State. Special policing schemes would be launched for protecting women and children and senior citizens who were living alone. More women constables would be deployed for law and order duty.

Inaugurating the scheme, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the law and order situation in Kerala was the best in the country. However, murders, thefts and crimes against women were still occurring. The police should curb such crimes with the help of society. He said the bulk of today’s police were socially committed and well-educated youth. Policemen should not be intimidating characters who pick the pockets of the public.

Opposition Leader Oomen Chandy said the police should draw power from the people by living up to the faith they have vested in it. The police should not draw its strength from weapons and man power alone. Mr. Chandy asked the government to increase the man power of the Police Department before entrusting it with more responsibilities.

Home secretary K.J. Mathews, Director General of Police Raman Sreevastava, Additional Director General of Police Jacob Punnose, Arun Kumar Sinha and B. Sandhya, both IGs, and film actors Indrajith and Kavya Madhavan were present.