Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): Along with Indore, the Police Commissioner system was introduced in Bhopal on December 9 last year. Six months down the line, have things really changed?
Of the many yardsticks that can be used to measure to success of the new system, one is whether police have changed? Are the victims of crimes - complainants in legal parlance - comfortable visiting the police stations? Do they feel welcome there? Do the cops listen to what they have to say? Or, are they treated as intruders, unwelcome guests who are to be suspected and misbehaved with?
From the New Year Day this year, the local police introduced an innovative system for assessing its own working. The new experiment, Kaisi Hai Aapki Police, was aimed at allowing people to assess the working of police.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Headquarters, Vineet Kapoor said that under the scheme a visitor's register was placed at all the 36 police stations under Bhopal police commissionerate.
People visiting the police stations for any purpose are requested to enter their name, address and mobile number in the register.
These details are sent to police commissioner office, where policemen (separate for the four zones) randomly call the visitors and ask five questions (see Box 1) to them. One mark is allotted for positive response to every question. However, if the fifth question (about bribe) is answered in the affirmative by any visitor, the marks are reduced to zero, Kapoor said.
Questions asked to the visitors:
* Were you asked to be seated and offered a glass of water?
* Were you treated with dignity and respect?
* Was your problem heard?
* Were you given receipt / copy of FIR / complaint filed by you?
* Did anyone demand bribe from you?
In last months, the following police stations were top performers
1. Shymala Hills
2. Arera Hills
4. Katara Hills
6. Chuna Bhatti
Of them, Shyama Hills figured among the top three in 5 months, Koh-e-Fiza in 4 months, Chuna Bhatti and Arera Hills in 3 each, Katara Hills (2) Misrod (1).
In last 6 months, following police stations were at bottom
1. Chhola Mandir
3. Ashoka Garden
6. Gautam Nagar
Chhola Mandir was at the bottom three for six months, Bazaria for five months followed by Bairagarh (4) and Ashoka Garden, Kolar and Gautam Nagar (one each)
Nothing to do with police
When I am at police station, I interact with visitors and try to solve their problem. When I am not, I ensure that the duty officer listens patiently to what the visitor has to say. That itself solves half the problem. Many times, people come with complaints, which have nothing to do with police. For instance, a man came with a complaint that a drain in his locality had choked. In such cases, I try to coordinate with the agency concerned to solve the problem.
-Nitin Sharma, incharge, Chuna Bhatti PS
My police station area has many slums. Brawls are very common. Drunkards indulge in domestic violence. Women approach us seeking arrest of their husbands for beating them up. We cannot do that. The law doesn’t allow us to. But the complainant thinks that we are ignoring her plea. My police station does not have an Urja Desk. That also leads to complaints of women not getting redressed.
-Zaheer Khan, incharge, Gautam Nagar PS
What the cops suggest?
* Every police station should have at least one woman police officer or an Urja desk
* There should be separate washrooms for males and females including for visitors.
* There should be a separate staffer, preferably a woman, to maintain the visitor's register. That would ensure more accountability.
* The problem of shortage of constables at the police stations should be solved.