Right after HT started its campaign against wasteful allocation of cops for VIP duty and non-policing chores, the Delhi Police has decided to divert 5% of its non-field staff to night patrolling.
At least 500 more police officials spending time in the drudgery of paperwork will now be on Delhi's streets, hopefully preventing horrors like the Sunday night gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus.
Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar sent a circular to this effect to the heads of departments such as licensing, special branch, demolition cell, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and four battalions, sources said on Thursday.
“Personnel posted across such departments will now be required to report to one or more of our 11 district control rooms, which will then assign them to their respective areas or beats for patrolling,” said an officer requesting anonymity.
Of the 83,762 Delhi police personnel, close to 45,000 are not available for policing. Of these, as many as 7,315 guard just 416 VIPs.
Paperwork-oriented departments have an estimated 10,000 personnel. Freeing up 5% of them means putting 500 more protectors on night vigil…a modest but important beginning.
“Whatever the number, that many personnel deployed for night patrolling will add to our visibility on the streets — a major deterrent to street crime,” the officer said.
Personnel will also be pulled out of departments like vigilance, the mounted police and even the police training college (PTC) for active policing. Understandably, specialised departments such as the crime branch and the special cell will be left untouched. But they will provide ‘ancillary support’ in intelligence gathering.
HT still feels a lot more could be done: rightsizing security for VIPs to begin with. Safe trips for 1.7 million Delhiites are far more important than ego trips for a few.