Even though the Chandigarh Police took a slew of measures this year, including connecting online and aiming at making police more 'public friendly', the residents feel that the cops need to do much more.
The police refurbished its website, providing people with an email address through which they could directly get in touch with UT inspector general of police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya; and launched know your case in June, providing update or status of your complaint and uploading of first information report (FIR).
The IGP received about 2,500 emails since the launch of the initiative in March. As many as 64 cases were registered following the complaints. About 80 residents replied they were satisfied, while 40 had come up with various suggestions relating to traffic, besides law and order.
According to residents, connecting with the IGP through email and upgrading website caught their attention, but 'know your case' has not been a hit.
At least 760 resident welfare meetings were organised where the police interacted with residents. The police authorities claim that they interacted with nothing less than 27,000 city residents through these meetings, but the city residents claim it to be different.
City-based advocate Ajay Jagga and RTI activist RK Garg said the police only interacted with a selective audience, particularly from specific resident welfare associations (RWA).
The police officers said public mechanism was improved, which resulted in more reporting and almost 100% registration of cases.
The police also started the practice of deputing a deputy superintendent of police (DSP)-level officer on night duty. The residents can call the officer after midnight till 7 am in case of any problem.
The police also came up with an all-women police control room (PCR) vehicle to address the women complaints.
"We are open to suggestions and positive criticism. Efforts are aimed to connect with the residents. The measures have been taken to bridge the gap between the police and residents, so that we get the direct feedback," IGP Upadhyaya said.
RTI activist RK Garg
Website and email id to connect with the top cop is a good initiative. A lot of information is provided on the police website, unlike other government websites. But at the same time the, know your case initiative is a flop. I have been trying to know the status of my case for past so many months, but haven't been able to get any clarity. The RWA meetings are also farce.
Chairman, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh, PC Sanghi
We have been noticing change of the IGP's for the past so many years. The chief of the police force changes and so does the policies. The officers come up with the ideas for their own publicity and later they are left abandoned. There has been no respite from snatching, thefts, and rape and sexual harassment cases. The police need to have effective policing, for which ways and means need to be worked out.
Advocate Ajay Jagga
The initiatives of the police were more on paper and didn't yield much result. Only some of the resident welfare associations and senior citizen associations had meetings with the police. The RWA meetings should be increased so that more people could be reached out. These initiatives cannot bring about much difference till the cops implement police reforms as per the ministry of home affairs guidelines. The police should also set up police advisory committee.
Member, Senior Citizen Welfare Association of Manimajra, Col Gursewak Singh (retd)
I have a good experience with the Chandigarh Police. I had mailed them and got feedback within 24 hours. The initiatives of the police are better than nothing; they are trying to connect and get feedback from cops. Even the traffic police act in a proactive manner and respond to the queries posted on their Facebook page or any suggestions mailed to them.
UT inspector general of police, RP Upadhyaya.
We are open too suggestions and positive criticism. Efforts are aimed to connect with the residents. The measures have been taken to bridge the gap between the police and residents, so that we get the direct feedback.