On February 1, Dr KK Paul became the longest serving commissioner of Delhi Police. An IPS officer of the 1970 batch, Paul has been in the hot seat for over three years now. During his distinguished career, he has held several key positions and has also served in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Intelligence Bureau (IB). The media-shy commissioner, who boasts of the best CV among serving IPS officers, spoke to Pankaj Vohra on his tenure in Delhi. Some excerpts:
You have now become the longest serving commissioner in the history of Delhi Police. How do you look back on your tenure?
Policing, especially in Delhi, has always been a very demanding job. But we had set our priorities and I am happy that the results are now showing. First of all, the realization that Delhi Police has to be a service organization and that citizens will always remain our first priority has set in a process of transformation. The force has shown substantial improvement in its sensitivity to public grievances. This, however, is a continuous process.
Can you elaborate ?
When we embarked on the journey of modernization three years ago, we had set our targets. Today I can say with some pride that Delhi Police are one of the most modern forces in the country. Technology has to be put to public service to bring in systemic changes. So, in order to make the police more accessible to the common man, complaints are now being received on FAX as well as e-mail; all police stations have been computerized and SMS services have been thrown open to public for queries. Technology also brings in transparency and we were able to get the ISO certification for our recruitment process and arms licensing. We were also conferred the International Webber Savvy awards for excellence in law enforcement and community services twice in the last two years.
You are considered a hard taskmaster.
I have relentlessly tried to drive home the message of zero tolerance for corruption and inefficiency and reward for merit and performance. If that makes me a tough taskmaster, it is certainly the best compliment I could get. In the past three years, over 1,500 policemen have been suspended for prima facie suspicious conduct. The result has been a sharp decline in the number of complaints against policemen. At the same time a record number of people have been promoted. My message is clear. As long as everyone does his duty, there is nothing to fear. But in case of aberrations, prompt action will be taken without fear or favour.
Delhi is called the crime capital of India.
This is an unfortunate coinage by the media. There are a large number of socio-economic factors which leave an impact on society and get manifested in crime. The police, in most cases, have no control over such factors. The efficiency of a police force is gauged by the number of crimes solved and the rate of conviction. On both counts, Delhi Police have shown significant improvement during the last few years.
The conviction rate which rose to 55 per cent for the year 2006 has gone up to 60 per cent in January, 2007. We have undertaken several pro-active policing measures. Our ‘Parivartan’ has reduced crime against women. The Senior Citizen Cell created two years ago has also shown positive results. Despite the criticism, the recent survey by HT on traffic management shows Delhi Police on top. I see Delhi Police as the best police force in the country — the most well-equipped, professionally-oriented and citizen-friendly force.
Email Pankaj Vohra: email@example.com