The first eight months in office have been tough for Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta. He took over the force promising to modernise it and instill confidence in the heart of the common Delhiite. Albeit the overall crime rate has marginally reduced, many sensitive cases that have come up in his tenure remain unsolved. In an interview, Gupta takes stock of his measures to curb crime and terror and make the 80,000-strong force more accountable. Edited excerpts:
Please rate your performance?
Slowly but steadily, both the elite branches of our force, the crime branch and the special cell, have been reactivated. Street crime has come down drastically after we identified crime hot spots, went out against active criminals and put a large number of proclaimed offenders behind bars.
How far have you gone in modernising the force and instilling confidence in the common man?
Our emphasis as been on both perception and visibility. We have begun evaluating SHOs (station house officers) on a monthly basis, just like in private enterprises. As many as 155 new emergency response vehicles have been inducted to execute important functions like immediate response to distress calls. For instance, when east Delhi saw a sudden spurt in violent street crime, 500 personnel were present on the ground for two days. We have also laid down some guidelines for the public. Organisers of large congregations like Baba Ramdev’s at Ramlila Grounds will henceforth be equally responsible for maintaining law and order.
Does modernising mean putting more police vans on the street?
We have revamped a basic policing practice — picket checking. Most recent cases of detection— of interstate criminals on their way to commit crimes, of stolen vehicles and even drug seizures — have been executed by constabulary-level officers who intercepted them during routine checking.
Many of your soft policing initiatives, such as the slum panchayats, remain in the pipeline.
I am personally in touch with the former Mumbai Police Commissioner (AN Roy), who had introduced these projects there. Slum panchayat has taken off in Jahangirpuri. We are also working on the officer-oriented policing project. The durbar is functioning every day.
The recent blast outside Delhi HC shows terrorism is on its ways back.Why do such cases remain unsolved?
I agree that most of these cases remain unsolved, but we will ensure that these cases reach their logical conclusion.