The posters are fading, while most names and phone numbers of the beat constables are outdated or wrong. What’s more, the men in khaki are mostly unseen.
Jaipur features the common sight of various walls putting up details of cops as well as their stations. Most posters are fading; the letters aren’t legible.
Jaipur currently has 2,222 beats across 56 police stations. Under the beat system, ideally, each constable is assigned a specific area where he engages with the people. That, however, is not the scene.
“No beat constable ever comes to our area,” says Amit Gupta, a resident of Malviya Nagar. “We requested the SHO to see the beat constables are doing the duty, but to no avail.”
Gupta is a member of the police community liason group (CLG) that aims to bridge the residents with the police.
Residents and CLG members from several other areas of the city endorse Gupta’s statements. Policemen only come if there is a complaint or an area has reported crime, they add.
“No one in our locality knows who the beat constable is,” says Mohammed Shamshad Khan, CLG member from Galta Gate. “If beat constables keep themselves updated about the happenings in their area and lend an ear to people’s grievances, crime will come down substantially.”
HT tried to call a cop mentioned in a poster, and the person who picked up the phone identified himself with a different name. “The man you are looking for was transferred to another police station two years ago,” he said.
Another resident, Ajay Singh of Hasanpura, says beat constables appear very rarely.
The police don’t agree fully. Says Kunwar Rashtradeep, deputy commissioner of police (east): “Every month we have beat meetings between cops and CLG members. It’s a system that runs on mutual cooperation. Apart from visiting the beats to deliver summons, we keep an eye on crime-prone areas.”
The fading posters and wrong numbers are an issue, he concedes.
“The police don’t get a separate budget to put up posters; we find the money from sponsors. We are trying to rectify the details,” he adds.