Not all areas in the country have police stations in the vicinity. We are leaving it to your imagination as to how pathetic a situation can be when there is no full protection in the surroundings. When there are no cops nearby, obviously, crime rates would make a steep bounce.
In a bid to combat this situation and to close the gap between citizens and the police, IPS officer in Maharashtra, Vinita S has launched an effective initiative in the Bhandara district.
“In this fast moving world when everything is being delivered at our doorstep and services are provided instantaneously, we the police, being the foremost law and order, safety, and security organisation have to be equally prompt and swift to serve the community,” the IPS officer said in a social audit report.
However, instead of just initiating awareness programmes, Vinita, who is the Superintendent of police in Bhandara, thought of an alternative idea as she brought police stations right to the doorsteps of the citizens. An interesting concept isn’t it? Yes, it is.
Speaking to The Better India, Ankita Bohare, a social activist who guided IPS Vinita in the project said, “The concept was inspired from two fundamentals those are predominantly being catered in the contemporary service sector. The first is the effortless facilitation—called the door-to-door service— and the second is ‘Mutual Trust Building’ between the service provider and patron.”
The concept is quite simple and these “mobile” police stations will be temporary outposts particularly in the rural areas of Maharashtra where villagers can convey their grievances as well as file complaints.
Every police station has an officer and two police personnel including a lady constable. To make sure that the villagers are fine, buildings such as schools or gram panchayats have been changed to police stations. In exceptional cases, temporary tents were set up. As the police personnel showed regularity with their work, the villagers were pleased and gave a positive response. Slowly, the crime rate due to superstitions and cyber crimes started declining, which goes to show that the initiative taken by the IPS officer was clear-cut.
Ever since their inception on 28 January 2017, the mobile police stations are being run across 17 locations in and around Bhandara, every Saturday. As per the report submitted by Vinita, the camps have benefitted over 1.5 lakh people. The team strongly believes that communication is the solution to helping the community go well with the police. “Critical opinion and censure of the community towards the police have various reasons, ranging from personal to generalised experiences,”
Bohare informed TBI in an email interview. She added that “The police force is synonymous to security, but somehow it has also become a tantamount of fear and mistrust. The reasons for this vary from circumstances to situations, conditions and personal experiences. But it cannot be denied that the lack of proper, right and timely communications has left enough scope for misunderstanding and improper propaganda.”
However, the mobile police stations seem to be taking the cons away and closing the gaps between the cops and the citizens.
“Furthermore, because the locals have offered such unprecedented support, various illicit activities and crimes have either been averted or largely being controlled. And looking at the huge response representatives of other departments and local bodies have also started attending it, making it a single platform for community grievances redressal,” said Bohare in a statement.
Thanks to IPS officer Vinita for setting a classic example of how civil servants can come forward in helping communities.