Move on foot in crime-prone localities: MHA to Police

Policemen should move on foot in crime-prone localities to gather intelligence and prevent any untoward criminal incident, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked states.

The MHA is also miffed at states for not complying with the directive on compulsory registration of FIRs and wanted them to bring transparency and efficiency in policing to improve the image of police.

The recent advisories to state Chief Secretaries comes against the backdrop of decisions taken at the conference of Directors General of Police held in Gujarat Rann of Kutch December last year where it was proposed to make intelligence gathering robust besides other things.

In one of the advisories issued on Monday, the MHA said the Centre attaches the highest importance to prevention of crime. It had advised states from time to time to give more focussed attention to the administration of criminal justice system with emphasis on prevention of crime and control of crime, the advisory said.

It reminded the states about the proposal cleared at the DGPs conference, which suggested that police be encouraged to move on foot in at least 500 towns and cities in the first place.

The states should “put in place a mechanism to ensure that policemen in crime prone areas and gather intelligence for preventing crime”, the advisory said. States “should take appropriate actions” so that the work relating to intelligence gathering in prevention of crime “does not get neglected”.

Recalling contents of a 2010 circular, the MHA also said investigation wing should be separated from law and order duty and encourage outsourcing of non-core police functions like issuance of court summons to free more policemen for core policing functions.

Another advisory spoke about the MHA’s unhappiness over the inaction of states in not ensuring that all complaints are registered. “The Ministry is receiving reports from various quarters about non-compliance” on this, it said.

“It is the duty of the state/UT administrations to bring transparency as well as efficiency in the governance framework so that public trust in government service delivery is upheld and image of police is also kept in high esteem,” the advisory said.

“Therefore, the state governments/UT administrations must ensure utmost promptness in registering FIRs without any discrimination and jurisdiction and also make available the copy of FIR,” it added.

The MHA also advised the states to use the “resultant increase in crime statistics, if any” as a criteria for opening new police stations, deployment of additional police forces as well as for their better training.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Oct 10, 2016)

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