Citizens to actively participate in policing policies

New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Over 150,000 citizens from all across the country have joined a new initiative that will allow them a say in policing policy and various aspects of safety and security.

The Indian Police Foundation, a multidisciplinary think-tank working for transformational reforms in the Indian Police, together with citizen engagement platform LocalCircles, unveiled this initiative here on Wednesday.

Online communities under the umbrella of “Surakshit Bharat-Safe India” have been initiated and 150,000 citizens from 200 districts signed up for it during the soft roll-out phase.

Indian Police Foundation will be taking structured inputs from citizen’s discussions on various subjects and will share these with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state police forces.

“In addition to the national online community, state level online communities have been initiated for over 20 states and the foundation is in the process of enabling access for state and city police forces across these states,” Indian Police Foundation Chairman Prakash Singh, a former head of the paramilitary BSF, said in a statement.

The remaining states will be brought online by January 31, he said.

The online communities will enable citizens to raise issues of concern to the community, assist police where possible as well as for the police to share alerts and information of local relevance.

Citizens will be in a position to communicate to the SHO regarding accidents, traffic jams, incidents having a bearing on public order, the presence of suspicious persons and the like.

“City police can send alerts on various initiatives, updates or seek citizen assistance. If the city level police leadership shows interest in forming citizen-police communities at the station or beat level, the same can also be initiated in the future,” Prakash Singh said.

“Surakshit Bharat” is now live with active discussions taking place on Women’s Safety, Smart Policing, Anti-Child Labour, Vigilant Citizenry against Terrorism, Child Safety Online et al.

According to Prakash Singh, “social media, if used constructively can be one of the best enablers for citizen participation in making our daily lives better and safer”.

The communities are being structured such that in cases of crimes like kidnapping, stolen cars or missing children, police officers can broadcast alerts in areas beyond their station or district and seek assistance not just from police but also citizens in those areas.

–IANS

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