Policing slum-dominated areas requires greater sensitivity on part of the police and better communication with the residents. This is the opinion of senior officers of three police stations in the city.
A paper on ‘Slum Policing’ was presented by senior police inspectors of Mankhurd, Shivaji Nagar and Deonar police stations – with slums forming a large part of their jurisdiction – at the monthly crime conference on January 13. The commissioner of police was present at the meet.
Pascal D’Souza, senior inspector, Mankhurd police station, said: “There is a difference in the method one needs to employ while tackling the police jurisdictions one is allotted. In areas that are dominated by slums there has to be a lot of interaction with the locals. My earlier stint as an inspector of MIDC police station had different requirements. That area had a lot of industrial units which did not make interaction with locals very necessary.”
According D’Souza, in areas like Mankhurd, it is necessary to give an ear to the complaints even if they are domestic in nature. “The people approaching the police should feel that we are there for them,” he said.
Stressing on the need to maintain a good rapport with the residents, an officer from the police station said: “There are certain areas that do not have proper roads, which means we cannot take our bikes there while patrolling. Since there is no electricity, we have to walk to these place during the day. Hence we have to rely on the locals who stay there to give us a genuine account of what is happening.”
D’Souza said: “Mostly, people are happy that we patiently hear their complaints. Our job is to make them believe we are there for them and then they go out of their way to help us with any information we need regarding a crime that may take place in the locality.”