Panel recommends separation of investigation and law & order wings in Chandigarh police

The report stated that when the same personnel are assigned investigations and law- and-order duties, it has a cascading effect on the probe and leads to delays.
The report for reforms in Chandigarh police was submitted to UT administrator and Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore on Saturday. (HT PHOTO)
The report for reforms in Chandigarh police was submitted to UT administrator and Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore on Saturday. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 29, 2021 02:07 AM IST
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By Rajanbir Singh, Chandigarh

The one-member police reform commission, in a report submitted to UT administrator and Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore on Saturday, has recommended the separation of the investigation and law-and-order wings of Chandigarh police for better efficiency. The report stated that when the same personnel are assigned investigations and law- and-order duties, it has a cascading effect on the probe and leads to delays.

People-friendly force and thanas

The panel, which was headed by KB Singh, a former IPS officer and former ADC to the Punjab governor, further recommended making the police force and thanas more people friendly. It stated that the number of police stations and subdivisions must be increased for better reach. Beat boxes must be made more effective and a major chunk of grievances must be resolved at the beat-box level so that people do not have to visit police stations. A new design and requisite infrastructure at the booth-level has also been proposed.

The report says that in police stations, there should be a separate area where people can walk in and register their complaints. This should be under close-circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance and there should be a dedicated receptionist to guide the visitors.

“On walking into a police station, a person often feels lost. He doesn’t know where to file his complaint and who to go to. So, all police stations should get a reception area which has a dedicated receptionist to help the person,” said Singh adding that every complaint should first be registered here. This will also eliminate the chances of cops later saying that they did not get the complaint.

On cop strength

The report says the number of sanctioned strength of cops is adequate in Chandigarh and does not suggest any change in the current ratio of deployment of DANIPS cadre officials and local promoted officers. However, police need more ministerial staff. To increase promotional avenues to inspectors for the posts of DSPs, deputy commandant posts should be revived, it recommends.

There are around 6,000 to 7,000 personnel in the Chandigarh police. Of this, 600-700 are in the traffic wing. There are other departments in the police, including law and order, operation cell, crime branch, economic offences wing, CID, PCR among other departments. Currently, the city is headed by a DGP and DIG along with two SSPs and two SPs, one ASP and 18 DSPs. One DSP works with the UT administration in the vigilance department.

Traffic police

As of traffic police, the report says CCTV coverage should be increased at lightpoints as even now, around 100 points are not covered. Booths for traffic cops should be developed as facilitation centres with facility of toilets etc. And these should be equipped with latest gadgets, it recommends.

Women police stations, cyber crime and EOW

The commission has also recommended for five more police stations to be built in the city and a special thana for economic offences wing. Women police station should not have male cops posted, it says. The report lays special emphasis on dealing with cyber crime. A separate police station for the cyber cell, which is currently housed at the Sector 17 police station, should be in place. Domain experts should be hired as cyber crime is becoming challenging by the day, it says.

Recruitment and training

The commission has asked for revising criterion for recruiting constables and assistant sub inspectors introducing curriculum during training to make them more compassionate and empathic. The report also lays emphasis on upgrading weaponry and adding more vehicles for transportation and patrolling.

As of coordination with neighbouring police, it says there should be greater coordination from the SHO-level of bordering districts to SPs and then top-level officers at frequent intervals.

The administrator, after receiving the report, expressed the confidence that implementation of the recommendations made by the commission will help make the Chandigarh Police a more responsive, robust and efficient force. The implementation of the report is to be done by the local administration in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021