With an idea to bring about a visible change in the functioning of police stations, the Goa police department has directed senior police officials to pay periodic visits to the police stations.
Improving the basic policing skills and police-public relationship are among the important aspects mentioned in the order issued by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jaspal
The Sub Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs) and the District Superintendents of Police (SP) have been directed to conduct periodic visits to the police stations on weekly basis. The order states that there should be no laxity in implementation of this system and a visible change needs to be brought about in police station functioning in the next 2 to 3 months.
“It has been observed that physical equipment required for effective policing is in bad shape due to lack of maintenance or poor maintenance. Phones remain out of order, faxes are not working, toilets stink and photocopiers are not properly maintained,” mentions the order. “It is believed that such a rot has set in due to lack of or irregular visits of senior officers to police stations and the outposts. The police inspectors and other subordinates have forgotten basic policing. Policemen are hardly visible in the area and so is the case with mobile patrolling by vehicles and highway patrols,” reads the order.
Police station records are not updated for months together. CCTNS documents are not uploaded. Even the daily crime chart, which is the first thing one notices in the police inspector’s cabin is not updated on a daily basis. Periodic visits to police stations will improve the upkeep and general cleanliness of the police station, states the order adding that in addition, the officer will be able to listen to the subordinate staff and resolve their grievances as well.
“Moreover, the general attendance at the police station also improves and such visits lead to better manpower management. Certain personnel are believed to be not coming to police stations at all. This kind of unauthorised absence leads to deviant behaviour among policemen,” states the order. “Therefore, to reverse this country club culture, it is hereby directed that senior officers would visit police stations as per following schedule: SDPO to visit a police station every week and SP may draw a visit schedule and notice to the effect that District SP will be available on first Monday, or as the case may be, of the month, may be displayed in that police station.”
The order further mentions that there is a general feeling among the public that they are not able to meet SDPOs and District SPs. Public also complains that officers are also not accessible on mobile phones. Resultantly, people are not able to share information with SDPOs or SPs about crime and law and order related problems.
“Significantly, outreach to community and public at large is sine qua non for successful functioning of an office of public nature and public authorities. This is all the more important to police which has a daily interface with the public,” states the order. The outreach with public not only improves the police-community relationships but also helps in eliciting important information and feedback about the quality of policing in the respective police station areas, it further states.
Pertinently, people visit police stations/outposts in distress. Avoidance of public contact is not only counterproductive but also creates a gulf between police and the public. It also leads to mutual distrust. “As police leaders, it is our foremost duty to remove this distrust from people’s minds. It is considered that periodic visits to police stations/outposts is the best way to remove this distrust,” says the order.
During these visits, SPDOs/SPs would review progress of important cases, listen to public grievances and also check condition of infrastructure and equipment. Special emphasis may be laid on pending investigation of cases. Such visits shall be in uniform and SDPOs/SPs would also take a round of police station area to see if the beat officers visit their beats. The SPs may also interact with the general public to ascertain if they are aware about the name of their beat officer.
As per the order, the above system would be meticulously followed by SDPOs and there should be no laxity in implementation of this system. A visible change needs to be brought about in police station functioning in the next 2 to 3 months, the order states.