Concerned about the growing instances of corruption in the police force, the city’s police commissioner has come out with an internal vigilance scheme aimed at directly addressing citizens’ grievances.
The scheme is called ‘If You Pay Something, Say Something’.
As a first step in that direction, the commissioner has decided to set up a (complaint) box next to the main gate of the police commissionerate building at Crawford Market. Citizens who have been asked to pay a bribe by policemen can drop letters, detailing the demands made.
“The key of the box will be kept with me,” police commissioner Arup Patnaik told HT. He said the box will be opened in front of him and he will personally scan through the letters. “Even if the bribe amount is Rs100, an inquiry will be initiated and departmental action will taken if the complaint is genuine,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik said the idea behind initiating the scheme was two fold.
“Not everyone gets a chance to meet me. In such cases, the best way to air the grievance is by dropping a letter, even anonymously,” he said.
Secondly, Patnaik said, though citizens can approach specialised agencies such as the ACB, their mandate is limited and so is their manpower. “The ACB looks more into cases of disproportionate assets or selective trap cases,” he said.
Depending on the success of the grievance box, a similar facility would be extended to the regional level (additional commissioner’s office) and zonal levels (deputy commissioner of police’s office).
Although the police have two help lines—7738133133 and 7738144144—for citizens to directly send their grievances to the police commissioner, they are more for an emergencies and general complaints.
Patnaik said efforts are on to convert one of the lines to receive complaints against bribery only.