Karnataka

Citizens join hands with police to help beat staff crunch

Community policing: The police along with some residents during a night patrol in Bengaluru.

Community policing: The police along with some residents during a night patrol in Bengaluru.  

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Over 300 residents have been accompanying the police on their night patrolling rounds in the south division of the city

The city police have found a solution to their staff crunch problem in community policing. Over 300 residents — men and women — have started accompanying the police on their night patrolling rounds in south division.

Geetha Dhananjaya, 48, and her 19-year-old daughter Vaishnavi are among them. “This is great opportunity for me to get to know how the police work and how law-abiding citizens can help them to maintain law and order,” she told The Hindu.

The mother and daughter are picked up by the patrolling police from their home for night rounds and dropped back whenever they want to return, said Nagesh H.M., sub-inspector and nodal officer of KS Layout station, who is in-charge of the neighbourhood watch committee.

The idea was mooted by Rohini Sepat Katoch, DCP south division, under the neighbourhood watch committee initiative. “There are already 300 people enrolled in the programme, who are doing regular patrolling with the police in south division alone. There are men, women, students and working professionals supplementing the existing night beat police. This also acts as a ‘post multiplier’ and gives breathing space for the overworked staff,” she said.

Usually, there are three police personnel deployed on night beat. But, with two residents doing rounds with one policeman, the remaining two policemen can perform other duties. This would not only bridge the gap between the public and the police, but also help residents understand policing and be empathetic. This will also act as an image building exercise and the residents are getting trained in how to help the police in case of any eventualities, Ms. Katoch added.

Resident volunteers for the night beat have a WhatsApp group, where they are assigned beats.

‘I am a witness’

The police are also launching the ‘I am a witness’ campaign to enrol residents to help the police at crime scenes.

The move is aimed at tackling a major impediment — getting independent witness at the crime scene, as people resist fearing legal issues.

The police are identifying “trustworthy” residents under the initiative, they said.

Rearrangement of CCTV cameras installed by shops and commercial establishments at sensitive areas is also being looked into to help the police probe incidents, another senior police officer said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:56:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/citizens-join-hands-with-police-to-help-beat-staff-crunch/article30398396.ece

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