Bhawanigarh police station in Sangrur district has been adjudged the best among 396 police stations in Punjab, Chandigarh, Assam and Meghalaya by Altus Global Alliance.
Altus is an autonomous body working across continents from a multicultural perspective to improve public safety and justice. Every year, it rates police stations globally and audits their performance on various parameters. This year, the body conducted an audit of 1,000 police stations in 17 countries; last year, it had assessed an equal number in 22 countries.
The body records annual visits by groups of citizens at police stations to produce comparable scores on five dimensions of public service, namely community orientation; physical conditions; equal treatment of public without bias based on age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, minority or sexual orientation; transparency and accountability; and detention conditions.
The Sector 17 police station, Chandigarh, has received an award for consistency in performance. Baihata Charali police station (Assam) and Pasteur beat house in Shillong (Meghalaya) have been recognised for their people's orientation approach during the times of conflict and for their civil society initiative, respectively.
Dr Rainuka Dagar, global programme director, Altus Global Alliance, said the sixth round of the police stations visitors' week (PSVW) was organised from December 3 to 9, 2012, in which 17 countries participated, with 1,000 police stations receiving more than 5,000 citizens.
This global participatory programme aims at improving the quality of local police services as perceived by local communities, taking into account the capability of station house officers (SHOs), the exchange of good practices and the effectiveness of accountability mechanism in police stations, she added.
In India, the PSVW was organised by the Chandigarh-based Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), an Altus member, which conducted the performance audit in 396 police stations of Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab and Chandigarh. During the PSVW, 3,646 citizens visited these police stations.
Punjab Governance Reforms Commission (PGRC) chairman Parmod Kumar said citizen-centric reforms were an essential component of good governance. "The establishment of community policing saanjh kendras in Punjab ensures both dignity and efficient accessibility to police services," he said.
SC Agrawal, chief commissioner, Punjab Rights To Service (RTS) Commission, emphasised that service delivery should be the main focus of the police. He said governance reforms in Punjab had been implemented in civil as well as police administration. He stated that under the Punjab RTS Act, about 17 lakh citizens availed of services from police saanjh kendras.
Additional director general of police (ADGP), human resource development and community policing, SK Sharma said Punjab had converged saanjh community policing programme with the police reforms. "The main aim is to improve the service delivery through citizen-participatory policing," he added.