Say ‘hello neighbour’ for a safe locality

Police initiative to ensure people know their neighbours well to stay safe in the neighbourhood

Published - December 06, 2019 11:56 pm IST - Bengaluru

(From left) Helin Evrim Sommer and Georg Kippels, members of German Federal Parliament, and Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao at a discussion in Bengaluru on Friday.

(From left) Helin Evrim Sommer and Georg Kippels, members of German Federal Parliament, and Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao at a discussion in Bengaluru on Friday.

Aiming at bringing down crimes in the city and increasing citizens participation, the Bengaluru police will soon introduce ‘Hello Neighbour’, an initiative to ensure that people know their neighbours well to maintain security and safety in the neighbourhood, including women’s safety.

Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said here on Friday that in cities like Bengaluru, people do not know their neighbours. He said that most of the police stations in the city were community policing enabled.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference on ‘Safe cities with special focus on women’s safety’ organised by the city police and Hanns Seidel Foundation, with support from Janaagraha, Mr. Rao said: “If there is more interaction between people, there will be more coordination too. This will come in handy during emergency situations as they are one of the first responders. Sometimes, the police take time to reach the crime spot. If neighbourhoods and communities are safe, it is easy to ensure that the city is safe.”

The safety of women, besides being a humanitarian challenge, is also an economic challenge, he said. “We are primitive in public administration and justice delivery if we fail to take up women safety measures,” Mr. Rao said.

An increasing number of cases of assault on women and children have been reported from across the country in recent times.

P.K. Hormis Tharakan, former chief of Research and Analysis Wing, said that prevention of crime and protection of victim and witness with a robust police response was important in women safety issues. “As we lack infrastructural facilities and our police-people ratio is very less, we need to be innovative and smart measures like community policing is the only way ahead,” he said.

Also participating in the conference, S.T. Ramesh, former DG and IGP, said that the country was seeing a series of brutal assaults on women and children and people were losing faith in the system. “What is more shocking and shameful is that the cycle of rape, outrage and amnesia, where there is outrage for a few days and no action and everyone forgets what has happened. As the police-people ratio in the country is abysmal, community policing is one of the best tools to tackle various problems,” he said.

Reacting to the police announcement, Vimala K.S. of the All-India Democratic Women’s Association told The Hindu that sensitising judiciary and police along with the public was the need of the hour. “The Justice Verma Committee report should be implemented in letter and spirit. Initiatives such as the neighbourhood watch should be sustained,” she said.

Good response to Suraksha app

As many as 90,000 citizens have downloaded the Suraksha app in four days after the city police appealed to them on Monday to install the app.

Since its launch in April 2017, a little over one lakh people had installed the app. In the last four says, the number crossed 1.9 lakh, said Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police.

“Our personnel are tirelessly working to attend distress calls. We are now working towards reducing the response time,” he said. Apart from this, the police have also roped in private security personnel as force multipliers and are sensitising them on women safety issue.

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