HT Chandigarh Readers’ Take: Equip police with high-tech gear, give them better pay, training
Better training, pay
The goals of the commission should be to improve police infrastructure, upgrade the functioning of the police force, including investigation, prosecution, forensic investigation, training and intelligence in Chandigarh. Training and skill enhancement techniques should be developed. The functioning of lower level personnel can be improved by better training, pay and allowances and by creating a system that rewards initiative and positive action.
Build trust between public, police
Equip the force with the latest technology to lessen the workload of personnel and to curb crimes. Long duty hours need to be shortened to allow people to be well rested to tackle their duties diligently. Awards should be given to those carrying out duties with utmost professionalism. No political interference should be brooked. Trust should be built between the common man and the police to enable the former to approach the latter without fear.
Amanpreet Kaur Bains, Kurali
Keep ‘controversial’ officials away
A one-man commission often proves successful as the person can work unhindered and keep a strict eye on implementation of changes suggested. However, it should be ensured that controversial officials are not in charge of law and order and allowed to behave like dictators who think they have the right to take the law unto their hands.
Gurpreet S Malhotra, Kansal
More surveillance of ‘sensitive’ areas
Anyone planning to overhaul the policing system should recommend dividing the city into sensitive points and zones and deploying extra force to cope with problem areas. Health is crucial so police personnel should be made physically fit by exercising daily and take care of those bulging bellies. Counselling and training programmes should be conducted from time to time to cope with mental health issues. Personnel also need to be friendly so that the public can approach them without hesitation in case of need. Staying active and alert is mandatory to tackle the surge in crime rates in the tricity.
Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali
Seek help from intellectuals
The police reforms commission is not likely to improve the functioning of the force until intellectuals from the civil society are invited to share their suggestions. A team comprising local advocates, retired police officers, journalists and social activists should be part of the body. Their recommendations should have legal status to help in implementation of all changes. Only then can the reforms be effective.
Punish the corrupt, step up surveillance
Reforms are not likely to work and to set up a panel for the same is a waste of time. Installing more CCTV cameras will help curb crimes in the city, especially in remote areas. For improved policing people should be able to send in their complaints through WhatsApp. Exemplary punishment should be given to personnel who are caught favouring people and taking bribes.
Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh
Latest crime-fighting technology needed
The police need to have the latest crime-fighting technology, CCTV cameras at vantage points, seal the porous borders, streamlined coordination among all the police stations and security guards at public places. Personnel should be given the latest cameras and equipment to fight crime. Their service conditions too need a rethink. They should be given at least one day off during the week, be posted near their home towns and be given extra compensation/financial support in case of injury/death on duty. Civil society should be sensitive to their challenges and stress. Both the sides should live in harmony.
Usha Verma, Chandigarh
British-era mindset has to change
A serious effort should be made to ensure that the report of the commission does not meet the fate of previous reports on police reforms that are gathering dust. Ways and means should be looked into to free the police force from British-era mindset, where ruling politicians and top bureaucracy consider the police force as their personal army.Overworked personnel should be given relief both in terms of duty hours, salaries and working conditions.
AK Sharma, Chandigarh
No political pressures
The only wish of the citizens of the city is that they remain safe and secure where rule of law prevails sans police acting as a law unto itself. The commission should ensure that fear of law is instilled among criminals who get away by ‘managing’ the police. Delayed action by the men in khaki in any case adds salt to injury. The bane of our electoral democracy is that politicians of all hues wield power, even to meet their partisan ends and they misuse the force, twisting facts at times.There is no dearth of talent and professionalism but these get eclipsed because of the pressures policemen face from the powers that be.
Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula
Sensitive handling of seniors required
Internal matters and power allocation in a new police set-up does not bother the common man, who is more concerned about better policing, more so in times of coronavirus. Many police personnel have put in an exemplary performance as Corona Warriors and have been honoured by various resident welfare associations. They need to be firm in their dealings with people flouting Covid safety norms, but apart from taking on criminals, they have to be sensitive enough to reach out to lonely and infirm senior citizens and take care of their needs. Let us hope the overhauling in UT police is result oriented
SC Luthra, Chandigarh
No threat of danda please
Police personnel should be given behavioural training to deal with the urban educated population in UT and understand that the threat of the ‘danda’ (stick) can only distance them from the common man
Col TBS Bedi (retd)
Advice of local police crucial
Local police personnel are required to have complete knowledge of the region they operate in, especially spots with frequent criminal activities and nature of operations required to tackle antisocial elements. The commission must factor in advice from local police as well as market and resident welfare associations to draw out plans to tackle crime.
Priyam Aggarwal, Chandigarh
Transparency is key
Police personnel need to deal sensitively with the public, hear their grievances patiently and attempt to solve matters quickly. There should be transparency in the working of the police.
Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali
Public should understand challenges faced by police
The public-police relationship needs to improve, with the former made aware of the challenges men in khaki face. The latter need to understand what expectations people have of them. Apart from the physical and standard training imparted to the police, lower ranks need to learn how to interact with the general public. Besides training, the force should get the latest equipment, including belts loaded with pistol, taser weapon, baton and handcuffs. A metallic badge issued to personnel should have details of their respective departments and personnel number for quick identification, which should be worn prominently. Also, community policing should improve as it’s not as effective as it should be in the city. As military service is mandatory in some countries, community policing should also be widely open to all people, though on voluntary basis, to enable the public to work with police personnel and experience the challenges they face. Beat police officers to be provided with bicycles to keep fit and simultaneously carry out their duties of patrolling as obesity has been a serious problem in the police department. Suggestion boxes should be installed in police lines and stations for the public to share ideas on streamlining the force.
Naveen Sharma, Zirakpur
Better pay, training are musts
Policemen need to be given professional training and skill sets to handle law and order efficiently and better pay packages. They also need to be equipped with modern and user-friendly equipment, especially bulletproof vests. Attacks on police personnel should be dealt with strictly, with maximum punishment for undermining the legitimate authority of the state. An image makeover is urgently required in the force to create a fear psychosis among criminals. Exemplary behaviour should also be exhibited by personnel at all times, so that the taint of corruption is removed with censures and suspensions from service as per CrPC and IPC. Physical fitness of cops is a major area of concern. Yoga, meditation and other exercise camps should be organised regularly.
Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur
Citizens should check police functioning
Police should be first made accountable for their conduct, ie cases of corruption against personnel should be dealt with strictly. Second, this biased attitude: Challaning cars without pollution certificates and not buses and trucks, should change. The commission must suggest setting up of a citizen’s councils to check the functioning of police. Also filing of FIRs must be a smooth process. Police should stand for P: Polite, O: On Alert. L: Live wire, I: Intelligent, C: Courteous and E: Ever ready
Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (retd), Mohali.
The commission has to evolve strategies to counter strong political, bureaucratic and other pressures on police personnel that stop them from doing their duty. To understand more about the problems of the common man and win over their confidence, the commission may liaise with the residents welfare associations .
Sqn Ldr Manjit Singh Johar (retd), Chandigarh
Upgrade recruitment process
First, the recruitment process needs an upgrade. Both mental and physical standards for screening need to be a level higher (for every candidate, irrespective of whether they have a reservation or not), which should be revised and upgraded time to time. This will ensure quality personnel in the force. Also, police stations and officials should get the latest equipment training to upskill and upgrade. Some changes in infrastructure of police stations is also required.
Krrish Madaan, Ambala