Concern over misfiring mediation attempts by police

The allegations against an inspector who had since been suspended in connection with the death of the young law student Mofia Parveen has yet again thrown light on the effectiveness, or rather the absence of it, of informal dispute resolution talks involving the parties concerned being regularly held at police stations across the State.

The victim in her alleged suicide note had sought action against the inspector along with her husband and in-laws almost as a 'death wish' citing his rude behaviour after being summoned to the station in connection with a domestic violence (DV) petition she had filed.

This was not the first attempted mediation role of police going spectacularly wrong.

Earlier this year, police had attempted something similar and 'declared as settled' an issue of stalking only for the alleged stalker to gun down a young dental student near her campus at Nellikuzhi near Kothamangalam before killing himself.

“Such conciliatory talks should follow a proper protocol since policing demands the application of certain psychological principles, especially in cases related to dowry, DV, and Pocso. It is essential not to be judgmental and provide reassurance. Since it it not the forte of all, it is critical to handpick cops from every police station with the aptitude for mediation and counselling and give them training,” said noted psychiatrist C.J. John.

He said that in DV cases where probable mental health issues are involved, cops should have the good sense to seek professional help rather than try something beyond their expertise, which could very well backfire,

Police have been successfully running a Domestic Conflict Resolution Centre since the surge in DV after the onset of the pandemic. The centre works in all 14 districts under the Vanitha cell with an officer of the Additional SP in charge.

“The centre has amicably settled 15,000 domestic violence cases of less severe nature, Police personnel with a high level of listening, empathizing, and problem-solving skills are functioning in association with trained psychologists at these centres,” said P. Vijayan, Inspector General and director of social policing.

He said that it would be ideal to have a social policing unit manned by cops with requisite skills in every police station.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 9:16:20 AM |

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