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Community policing experiment takes off

Bangalore, June 20, 2013, DHNS: 0:45 IST
Experimental initiative: Home Minister K J George launches  the Community Policing  programme in Bangalore on Thursday.  dh photo
Community policing, a State government initiative, was launched by Home Minister K J George on an experimental basis in the City.

“It is our government’s ambitious initiative and I am confident of its success. Community policing will be expanded across the State shortly, as it will help police prevent crimes by up to 85 per cent at the local level,” George said. The initiative is operated by the police department and the NGO, Janaagraha.

The initiative will help police ensure peace and harmony, in addition to detecting and preventing crimes. “It will also bridge the gap between citizens and the police,” he added.

It will be implemented in seven police stations under as many divisions — Jnanabharathi, Madivala, JP Nagar, Banaswadi, Ashok Nagar, Rajagopalnagar and Yelahanka police stations. As many as 186 candidates who have been selected as community police staff will be called Area Surakasha Mithras (ASM).

The ASM will have to work closely with policemen at the police station-level and will act as police informants. They will primarily concentrate on illegal activities, robberies and other crimes. Members will carry an identity card issued by the Police department and Janaagraha. They will, however, not be vested with police powers.
Individuals who are 25 and older are eligible to become an ASM. Around 30 and 45 men will be selected at each station-level, based on their jurisdiction. The antecedents of such candidates will be verified. Those with criminal backgrounds will be kept out of the initiative.

George said more than 60 per cent of policemen face housing problems and that the government had finalised a plan to construct more than 4,000 houses.

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