Thursday, August 5, 2021

Community policing

In a co-ordination meeting with Naga civil societies in Dimapur held on November 6, new Commissioner of Police, Dimapur, Rothihu Tetseo, IPS stressed on the importance of community policing in the district to curb crime. He emphasised on the important role that NGOs/ civil societies can play in strengthening and helping in the efforts of the police and district administration in maintaining a peaceful atmosphere, and appealed for support and cooperation from the hohos, NGOs and civil societies for working together as a team for the betterment of Dimapur. “Nagaland Police will do our best to give peace and security to the public of Dimapur and Nagaland in general, I am very positive and I will do my best,” the new Commissioner Police Dimapur assured. Here it needs not reiteration that crime is an intrinsic and inevitable social phenomenon significant by its negative impact on the society. At the level of an individual, it is in major part a consequence of conflicting interests but from a broader societal perspective. Crime has its origin in human interactions of varied nature conditioned by the incumbent cultural and social influences. Being antagonistic to the forces of cohesion that hold the human groups intact and extend stability to the state, a low prevalence rate of criminal activities has always been one of the prime priorities of the governments worldwide, with huge investments being made on police research and development. There is always a definite social setting in which the criminal operates but it is quite a demanding job for the police to break into the contours and specifications of that setting. In such a scenario, the approach of the crime fighting agencies has to be imprecise and non-specific, because the criminal is not only an active member of the larger social group and contributes to its function, the multiplicity of personal roles that he undertakes also serves as a camouflage to conceal him from the invigilators eye. As such it becomes imperative on the law enforcement agencies to make their approach refined and socially oriented through research and innovation, so that the criminal is brought to account without least collateral damage and disturbance to the community. And community policing is one such innovative strategy by which the law enforcement agency modulates its operations with the cooperation and in the best interest of the community. It necessitates the strengthening of police-public relationship by enhancing the interaction between police and public. By participating in the routine social affairs, the police first attempts to redefine its role vis-à-vis the community, sending a very positive message that the police need not be seen as a hostile and inhospitable agency in the first place. It is a shift from the crime-oriented approach to the community-oriented approach. The intention is to facilitate the penetration of the police as much as possible into the social fabric so that the antisocial elements are isolated and dealt with in a very refined manner. And because through this approach, the police ensure its presence in the maximum social space, the scope of criminal activity is reduced naturally, cropping up of new crime gangs is checked and the noose on the active criminals becomes narrower as a consequence. The effectiveness of the community policing is in being a package of preventive and radical strategies against both organized and unorganized crime. Policing is made possible with the pleasure and participation of the local population. The process of investigation becomes less cumbersome and the innocent people suffer the least inconvenience. By lending itself to public scrutiny, the police also automatically fights corruption inside its own ranks and maintain transparency in its dealings. In being a public relations approach, community policing can instrumentalize a positive social change towards negligible rates of crime prevalence, once administered properly. Modern day policing rejects the doctrine of trigger-under-the-finger in favour of the finger-over-the-temple and research is the word. Indeed the need of the hour is that the guardians of our society realize the need for this motivational approach and perform their duties with greater professionalism and through strategies that have social relevance and approval.