Mumbai: Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar has said tackling terrorism and cyber crime are the major challenges for the city police, but efforts are on to keep the metropolis safe and terror-free.
The security of women, children, senior citizens and deprived sections is the Mumbai Police's priority, Phansalkar, who recently took charge as the city top cop, told PTI in an interview.
The city has faced a number of terror incidents, including serial bomb blasts in 1993, train blasts in 2007 and a deadly terror attack in November 2008, which claimed several lives.
Inter-agency cooperation is vital
Phansalkar said Mumbai is an important city and the police are working relentlessly in coordination with all agencies, like Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Force One (a specialised counter-terrorism unit of the Mumbai police), and the state intelligence department, to keep it safe.
"Tackling terrorism is a challenge before the Mumbai police and our efforts are continuously on to keep the city safe and terror-free. The safety of every citizen here is the Mumbai Police's primary duty," he said.
The city has been safe since last few years. "We are working hard to curb terror activities," said Phansalkar, a 1989-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
The police should gather intelligence on the ground level and meet people regularly, he said.
"There should be a feeling among citizens that Mumbai police are our police," he said.
If people come to know of any suspicious activity, they should immediately inform the police control room or local police station, the official said.
"The police will act on it," he added.
"With the collective efforts of all agencies, I assure Mumbaikars that they will able to live a terror-free life," the city police commissioner said.
Cyber crime a growing threat
He further said the increasing cyber crime was also a challenge before the police and steps were being taken to deal with it.
Efforts are being made to increase the conviction rate in crime cases, he said.
The Mumbai Police will felicitate all officers and constables who investigated such cases, Phansalkar said.
"We have asked for the names of the personnel who in the last one year not only detected the cases, but their investigation led to the conviction in those cases," he said.
Crimes against women and children
The Mumbai Police on July 12 withdrew two orders which laid down that its personnel had to get the nod of a deputy commissioner of police(DCP)-rank official to register FIRs for molestation and under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The orders were issued on June 6 and 17 by then police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, who retired on June 30.
A section of social activists and political leaders had claimed the orders would slow down the process of obtaining justice in crimes against women and children.
Phansalkar said the orders were "unnecessary", and hence withdrawn.
"There were discrepancies between those orders and provisions of the law, hence we withdrew them. Law is always supreme and nobody is above the law." According to a new order, all police stations in Mumbai have been instructed to take immediate cognisance of any complaint lodged under the POCSO Act and charges of molestation and to take necessary action according to provisions of the law.
"Safety of women and prevention of crime against them is our priority," Phansalkar said.
Instructions has been given to zonal DCPs and joint CP (law and order) to review all complaints filed by women in which FIRs were registered in the last one year, he said.
There should be a logical conclusion to the investigation into those cases and the women complainants should be satisfied, he said.
The Mumbai Police are also taking necessary steps to make police stations and security personnel child- friendly, he said.
Under 'Operation Muskan', the police have worked hard to reunite thousands of missing children with their families, he added.