Vice President Venkaiah Naidu stresses on the need for a people-friendly police force
Addressing the national seminar on SMART Policing organised jointly by the Indian Police Foundation, the National Centre for Good Governance and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu on October 5 said there was a need to make policing people-centric and police stations people-friendly.
On the eve of Police Reforms Day, Naidu proposed internal reforms within the police forces, also suggesting on improving the ambience in the police stations to make them complainant-friendly. He said the citizens should feel confident as the police personnel were competent to address their grievances.
“I am convinced that our collective vision of building India as a global, political and economic power can be realised only with a robust criminal justice system and professionally efficient police that always upholds the rule of law without fear and favour,” he said.
He said the police will have to develop the necessary expertise to tackle cybercrimes, while organised crimes would require very good inter-state coordination. “I would like to take this opportunity to impress upon you the need for internal reforms within the police. There is a lot that you can do without looking to the government for any kind of support. The first and foremost is to improve the ambience in the police stations,” he said.
“We have been talking for many years to make police stations people-friendly. Unfortunately, that is not happening. Unless the senior officers take the lead in changing the atmosphere in police stations, I am afraid that things might not improve,” he added.
There is also a scope for improvement in registration of cases, he reiterated. Every case should be first registered, enquired into, then disposed of on the merits. The discretion should not be given to the Station House Officer (SHO). He lamented that there were frequent complaints of third-degree methods to extract information or confession. “With the availability of modern technology and gadgets, there is absolutely no justification to use third degree methods. Human rights are important and they must be respected,” the vice president added. He said there is a serious need for attitudinal changes in the lower ranks of the policemen.
He said the safety and security of women and children should be stepped up, following reports of widespread increase in such crimes across the country. The police should be sensitised on the need to act firmly and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.
The vice president also expressed concern over misuse of social media. He said it’s a new challenge for the police. “The tremendous technological and social changes feared by the internet, and the new social media are relentlessly changing the nature, intensity and reach of the crime, even as national and international boundaries are getting blurred. At the same time, technology also opens up a whole new world of possibilities to strengthen our policemen and policewomen. There is an enormous scope to tap its potential in the fields of police governance, investigation, safety and security management, as well as citizen-centric policing.”
He also expressed concern on the fact that state DGPs were being changed on the whims of the chief ministers, which should not happen. “When CM changes, there’s a change of DGP. Why should it happen? There should be a fixed tenure,” said Naidu.
The conference was also attended by top police chiefs from different states who presented their own models of police modernisation and the innovations they were introducing in the forces.
Also, in attendance at the conference were the President of Indian Police Foundation, N. Ramachandran; director general, Bureau of Police Research and Development, V.S.K. Kaumudi; chairman, Indian Police Foundation, Prakash Singh; secretary Personnel Administrative Reforms, Chandramouli among others.