Policing in the city needs to be more visible to maintain law and order, feel former senior police officers.
The murder of two young men, Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes, has once again shown the need for change in policing.
On October 20, Santos and Fernandes were knifed near Amboli Bar and Kitchen in Andheri (West) after they objected to a drunk man allegedly sexually harassing the women in their group. While Santos died on the spot, Fernandes passed away on October 31.
Those who have been part of the force believe that the incident could have been prevented if the police had more effective patrolling. “Police station working has become very lax. It has virtually collapsed,” said MN Singh, former Mumbai police commissioner.
Singh stressed that policing must be visible and nothing is more important than order on the street. “Some of the old methods of policing such as beat and foot patrolling will never lose relevance,” he said.
According to Singh, the basic concept of policing has taken a backseat due to modern technology.
Dr PS Pasricha, former director general of police, Maharashtra, also stressed on the need of making beat patrolling effective. “It has to be a mix like on bicycle, foot and vehicle,” he said.
The objective of beat patrolling is to build confidence among the residents for the police force and curb crimes, said Pasricha.
“With beat and foot patrolling a policeman knows where and when to keep his eyes and ears open. Also, when policemen patrol an area, it helps build confidence among people and puts a fear in the minds of anti-social elements,” he said.
According to Julio Ribeiro, former Mumbai police commissioner, who also served as Punjab director general of police, incidents such as the double murder can be prevented if laws are enforced properly. “Miscreants feel that they can get away with anything since the laws are not implemented properly,” he said.
YP Singh, lawyer and former IPS officer, said the police were lacking in effective preventive action. “Today, preventive actions are very routine and done without application of mind,” he said.