Besides gunning for the criminals to curb crime rate in the city, new city commissioner of police (CP) Shivanand Jha will also try to infuse compassion and bonhomie in police-public interaction.
After taking over charge late on Monday from predecessor SK Saikia, the 1983 batch IPS officer spoke exclusively to dna on Tuesday and said that the police department will primarily focus on prevention of crime and make cops more approachable for the public.
“I would like to make the police department citizen-friendly. The idea is that serving with a public-centric approach will encourage citizens become responsive. Hence, Grievance redressal will play a key role in the strategy,” he told dna. Jha has a three-pronged action plan charted out, details for which will be chalked out in the coming days. “The three priorities will be to control crime, improve law and order situation, and rein in city traffic… but not necessarily in that order,” he said.
Of these, it is the detection and control of crime that will show results the soonest, according to him. He further said that his approach would differ in its intensity.“We have to hit the criminals hard (figuratively). The police will disable their activities through various acts of crime prevention. Action will begin to be taken in a matter of days,” Jha eagerly claimed. When asked about the lack or low rate of crime detections at police station-level in western part of the city, Jha said, “I’m aware of the 3-4 police stations in question and there will be a turnaround in functioning soon.”
Work in this regard had already begun, claimed police sources.
The CP had a two-and-half hour meeting with various senior police officials of the city immediately after taking charge. He had also asked for police records of the last five years from each of the police stations in his jurisdiction, they added.
Having served as the CP of Surat from 2009 to 2011, traffic woes of a growing city is not unfamiliar territory for Jha. “With development and increasing incomes, the size of cars gets bigger even as the roads they ply on remain the same size in cities such as Ahmedabad. We will also plan solutions specific to areas. In addition, for better enforcement of traffic laws, police station staff will give a hand to traffic police personnel deployed in their jurisdiction,” he explained.
Talking about the law and order directive of requiring a DCP-level official’s permission to obtain call-data records of any person under investigation. “The senior level clearance ensures supervision. This is required, especially in a case, where wrong decisions can lead to the infringement of an innocent citizen’s privacy.”
Jha will continue to be ADGP of law & order, and intelligence bureau as his additional charges.