People who usually do not feel comfortable while approaching the cops will do away with this feeling. Under the initiative, 33 police stations spread in 75km and are being handled by 8,500 policemen will get more hands of help to develop good relationships with citizens.
Commissioner of Police, Satish Mathur said, “A policeman works for safety, security and satisfaction of the citizens. While interacting with the citizens, we realise that the citizens don’t respond to the crime and the police have to first gain their confidence, which takes lot of time. The initiative will help the citizens and the police to build up a cohesive relationship.” Mathur, while citing an example said, “If there is any fire break out in an area, before the fire brigade reach, our policemen can give some precautionary measures so that valuable time saves big disaster. Last month, we came across some misleading defamatory posts which created a panic in the city. Interacting with the citizens will help the police to get live and accurate information of the area.” Each of the police stations have come up with this initiative where they interact with citizens by paying visits to their housing societies, public places and work places.While some policemen have started a whatapps group, others are sharing information via email or on the area website.
Sanjay Thenge, assistant police inspector, Hinjewadi police station, said, “In our jurisdiction, many citizens are outstationed and they are staying in the city for job purpose. Our area was a soft target for robbers. Initially, we got less response from the housing societies as they did wanted to talk to us because of the prejudice concept about the police. But now many housing societies in our area are calling us. We usually meet them during evenings and make sure than even their children be a part of our interaction sessions.”
He added, “In 15 days, we have formed an area-wise WhatApp group known as ‘Crime prevention’, where a representative from each housing society is a member. We exchange alert SMSes and also get some feedback from them. This is even helping us in settling the domestic violence issues.” Apart from creating awareness, the Cantonment police station have printed pamphlets in Hindi, English, Marathi and Urdu that have information about the policemen working in the area along with their personal numbers. Bharkat Mujawar, inspector in-charge of Cantonment police station, said, “While interacting with the citizens, many complained that they were not satisfied with the response they get from PCR. To overcome the issue, we have prepared a list which mentions the name of the police station along with the respective policemen and the work they look into.” S.M. Babar, inspector in-charge of Marketyard police station, said, “Interaction with the citizens is helping us a lot.”
Dr Richa Kavade, a resident of Bavdhan, said, “We generally have a tendency to blame the police for unlawful incidents, especially when a burglary happens. We want immediate results. However, such incidents usually occur due to our mistakes. The police interacted with the citizens and addressed the various questioned raised by children.” Rahul Tayade (33), a resident of Wakad, said, “Most of the people living in our society are working in IT companies. The important point raised by the police was that the neighbour is a viligant person who guards our house in our absence. This is helping us as we have started our own society members groups and we see to it that we hold meetings once a week. Lucky from past three weeks we have no robbers case reported in our society as well as in our adjacent areas.”