Do police need policing?

[ Amar Sangno ]

The recent alleged involvement of two Indian Reserve Battalion personnel in two different crimes raise a million questions in the minds of people, one of which is, how reliable and trusted are our law keepers.
It may sound scary, but it sends shivers down our spines when men in uniforms are seen riding bikes in rocket speed without helmet, rampaging around in the street with liquor bottles in hand; kicking innocent people at night and draw their service pistol/ revolver, or swing it in the air on petty arguments with commuters.
Can we expect such behaviour from policemen who are suppose to keep the society in order? That could be answered with a big no!
It is true that we should neither generalize, nor blame the entire law enforcing agency for a few disgruntled and unruly personnel, tempted by indecent acts.
However, when the personnel take law in their own hands, it compels the common man and woman to conclude that police personnel need classes on discipline and policing as well.
There is also an undeniable fact that a large section of police personnel are upholding the fundamental principle of disciplinary job, toiling round the clock to keep the society in order, streets safe and houses in peace.
But when protectors turn predators, it shows that the department is failing collectively.
A senior police officer on conditions of anonymity opined that absence of routine supervision on the personnel could attribute to misconduct and indulgence of criminal activities by them.
“Most undisciplined personnel are very young in age. They have a tendency to indulge in many activities like civilians do, and in the process they tend to forget their uniform”, he said.
Also making a comparison of inadequate accommodation facilities like paramilitary forces have, the officer said that they would require similar facilities for the police and IRBn personnel for them to maintain discipline, moral values and understanding of human rights.
“The nine months basic training, which all personnel have to undergo, won’t be able to change them much. They need to be supervised properly so that their activities can be accounted for”, he added.
It is also said that mass recruitment policy of the department attributes to ineffective training of police personnel. “The lesser the numbers, the more effective is the training”, the officer added.
The lack of proper Police Training Centre (PTC) in the state equipped with upgraded modern facilities is also one factor where the department fails. The PTC Banderdewa has capacity of accommodating 300 personnel at one go; sadly with pathetic accommodation facilities.
Overburdened by the high number of personnel, the Police Department has to send their recruited boys to Assam and West Bengal for nine months basic training -out of the state department’s watch.
In many instances, under-training personnel are found in their respective homes enjoying unauthorised leaves. This in turn raises the effectiveness and quality of training imparted to our personnel in other state PTCs.
Though there is a set of disciplinary rules under the Arunachal Pradesh Police (Discipline and Appeal) Rule, most of the indiscipline personnel easily get away even after committing crimes and misconduct.
“Stringent action against irresponsible personnel would somewhat reduce the unruly act of our boys” said another police officer, who also did not wish to be named.
It is also true that the department has no counselling centres to counsel or guide depressed personnel, which leads to misconduct and unruly activities. With the growing criminal activities of its own personnel, it is high time that the department introspect to keep its boys in order.




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