It was heartening to know that the Indian government is planning to institutionalize community policing, by setting up an exclusive wing for the same. The said wing, to be named 'Community Policing' or CoP, will be a part of the existing police department itself.
It is undoubtedly a very significant development. It is now an established fact that appropriate involvement of community always enhances the quality of the governance. This explains why it has now become such a popular practice for governments across the world to partner with local community members for carrying out various tasks and activities (one notable example is that of “Community Forestry”).
And moreover, community policing has been proved to be a very fruitful tool for curbing crime, with the practice being followed in a number of developed countries for quite some time. No matter how much strong network of informers a police force has, there is no parallel for a system where the common, grass roots level citizens act as the “eyes” and “ears” of the force. All of us are aware of at least a couple of incidents where the alertness of a common citizen has helped the police to smell a crime that is about to take place, and prevent it by taking necessary steps at the right time.
I was also happy to know that new courses and programmes were being developed for being taught in police academy, which aim at sensitizing police personnel on the role they have to play in community policing.
Let’s wish the government all the best for this smart move.