KERALA

Janamaitri a success in Thiruvalla

Good rapport: Circle Inspector R.Jayaraj checking the beat book of a Janamaitri squad at Muthoor Althara Junction in Thiruvalla. –   | Photo Credit: Photo: Leju Kamal

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor

Community policing scheme helps in curbing crime

PATHANAMTHITTA: “The crime rate has come down to single digits, the number of chain-snatching incidents has been brought to zero from the earlier average figure of five a week and thefts, house-breaks, burglary and other crimes effectively checked since the introduction of the ‘Janamaitri Suraksha' community policing scheme in the municipal limits of Thiruvalla six months ago,” R. Jayaraj, Circle Inspector, and implementing officer of the scheme, says.

The success story of the scheme owes much to the close rapport its members, comprising police personnel and the public, maintain with each household in their beat area.

“The Janamaitri samiti members and the police beat officers have been behaving like our family friends, finding time to hear our grievances and complaints and we feel it a great solace in our old age,” an octogenarian former civil servant who stays alone at his house at Kavumbhagom says.

“Our children are well placed abroad and we have been staying alone in our ancestral home at Muthoor, after retirement from service in north India, for the past 15 years. The community policing has started infusing a sense of security in the people, especially senior citizens who stay alone,” an elderly couple says.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Jayaraj said only seven criminal cases had been reported from the municipal limits in the past six months and no theft case has been reported during the period.

The municipality with a total population of 58,636 houses has as many as 14,294 houses.

A survey conducted by the Janamaitri samitis shows that as many as 740 houses in the municipal limits are occupied by elderly couples living alone. Another 338 houses are occupied only by women.

The samitis comprise young members from the respective municipal wards, police beat officers and women police constables. As many as 15 Janamaitri beats have been constituted for the 36 municipal wards and each beat conducts periodic night patrol in the municipal wards.

Coordination of security guards deployed by various business-commercial establishments, banks and so on; awareness programmes for women and schoolchildren against chain-snatching, drug abuse and other problems; the traffic warden scheme in schools; and the setting up of school ‘Jagrata Samitis' are some other major achievements of the scheme in Thiruvalla.

Documentary

Mr. Jayaraj said the Janamaitri samitis had made a short documentary depicting the dos and don'ts in society to check crimes.

A campaign to check harassment of women and children were the other schemes on the cards, he said.