International Community Policing Award-2009

International Community Policing Award-2009
International Community Policing Award-2009

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Aspirations (Fight Against Terrorism)

Terrorism is growing in an alarming condition than ever. To combat terrorism activities in the state, Kochi City Police is conducting an aggressive campaign against terrorism, which lasts for a year. Starting from the grass root level, City Police has started an awareness campaign on New Year 2009 and declared 2009 as Anti Terrorism Year.

Aspirations, a Mega campaign by Kochi City Police against terrorism was started by a Mega Event based on National Integration and urging the needs of an anti Terrorism scenario, celebrities from different walks of life united together for this mega campaign. The show was conducted portraying the ill effects of terrorism in an artistic way, by means of Skits, Dance, Songs, Messages and proclaimed the needs of the union of the Kochiites against this massive disaster. People from all walks of life united together to pray for those who were killed in recent times by terrorism activities. A prayer was held in the presence of lighted candle in the hands of all who were present at the show.

“Be vigilant- Report any susceptive Terrorism Activity”:

This was the campaign slogan of Kochi City Police to make people aware of Terrorism.

An anti Terrorism Toll Free Helpline No. 9656000100 was launched on the day for the public for reporting any suspicious terrorist activity. The people were asked to trust their instincts and pass on information about any unusual activity or behavior to the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline number. One phone call could contain a piece of vital information which could help disrupt terrorist planning and save lives. Posters and leaflets against Terrorism proclaiming the ill effects of terrorism was published by Kochi City Police, and distributed among the general public.

A Music Album was also released on the occasion proclaiming the ill effects of terrorism and urging the needs to unite against terrorism, to create a terror free world. This album was later shown in the major residential areas of Kochi City.

Members of the Residential Associations united for the noble cause. Detailed information of the residents of each area was collected by the Residential Association members and handed over to Police from time to time.

There was active support from print and channel media and also from the FM Radios to run the massive campaign advertisements seeking to raise awareness of some of the items/activities which may be needed by, or be of use to, terrorists. Anti Terrorism Campaign Hoardings was put up in the main junctions of the city.

Each month, analysis meetings are conducted with officials and representatives from all sectors of the society for analyzing the status quo of the conditions prevailing in the city and will also discuss of the security measures.

Janamaithri Suraksha Paddhathi ( Ensure Safety and Security of the Community with active co-operation of Public)

Statistics pointed out that Kochi City topped the list of number of cognizable crime recorded under the Special and Local Law (SLL). In 2006, the number of cases recorded under the SLL in the city was 10,557, compared to other neighboring districts.

For tackling this, a new initiative which is being introduced state level was first implemented in Kochi city. The project is named Janamaithri Suraksha Paddhathi

This project has the security of the community as its prime objective and the effort of the department would be to achieve this with people’s participation and closer liaison between the police and the general public.

This project has been implemented in four police stations in Kochi City i.e Palarivattom Police Station, Kadavanthra Police station, Fort Kochi Police Station and Hill palace police station .

Specially trained beat officers were posted in these police stations. Each beat officer is covering 500 houses or three square kilometre area, whichever is less, on a regular basis and is in touch with each home under their jurisdiction.

The beat officer is leading night patrolling in the locality with people’s participation, coordinating with the private security guards in the area, identifying and keeping a track of strangers visiting the locality, helping to prevent drug peddling and atrocities on women and is also offering protection to the elderly. Each beat officer has been given a motorbike and a mobile phone.

Problems, that cannot be solved at the level of the beat officer is referred to the higher officers at the local police station or SHOs. Popular committees, with an approximate membership of 10, have been formed in each police station limits. The committees will be playing the role of facilitators and will not have any role in maintenance of law and order. The progress of the scheme is being reviewed every three months.

Apart from. this Janamythri Ambulance service for the accident victims/medical emergencies, free houses for the poor, free uniform and school bags for the children, free medical camp was also launched as a part of community policing.


Police-Manpower Association Action Programme

This is one of the most unique schemes to check visa cheating cases which used to be rampant in Kochi City. Under this scheme an action group was formed by the police and the Manpower Exporters’ Association to check fake overseas recruitment and this includes the Protector of Emigrants (PoE). Since the formation of the action group, the number of

cheating cases registered in connection with fake overseas recruitment has come down 70 per cent. By including the PoE, the Police were able to effectively coordinate all aspects regarding overseas recruitment and check instances of cheating right at the beginning. The group has the Commissioner of Police as chairman. Earlier, the police acted only on receiving cases of cheating. Now, we can impart awareness among the public regarding overseas recruitment and also crosscheck genuineness of the claims made by recruiting agencies. The new action group meets every month and review the work. At the same time, the group members will be in constant touch. Whenever a case is reported, it is referred to the group for further action. This saves time in processing

cases, especially those involving foreign recruitment agencies. Whereas the official channel will take much time to crosscheck the credentials of these agencies, the group members can contact their counterparts in respective countries and verify facts in no time. The action group was reconstituted with a view to sorting out issues faced by manpower exporters. “The action group has effectively sorted out more than 200 cases and that is one main reason in the sharp decline in the number of cases.

The programme has been a major success in ensuring a good image on police among the public. The Positive image earned by the Police will be further strengthened and the objective of making the police force more community oriented and bringing the policing to the doorsteps of the public can be strengthened by such a campaign.

Foriegners Welfare Scheme

Kochi City is the major hub of tourists and the commercial capital of Kerala and so is a host to the maximum member of Foreign Nationals from around the globe, for a variety of reasons such as Tourism, Business, Medical Treatment, Education, Employment etc. Due to this fact, the City Police has devised a special scheme under the “PRIDE” Programme for the welfare of Foreigners visiting the City. The programme was implemented with the active cooperation and participation of the Hoteliers Association of Kochi. The major steps implemented under the scheme are as follows.

    • Distribution of pamphlet notices to the Foreign Nationals at the Airport itself on various rules and regulations regarding Visa/Registration etc.
    • Establishment of police Aid Post at the Airport and Medical College to aid the Foriegners in sorting out the various problems of hire charges and exorbitant medical fees.
    • The Police Tourist Cell to provide information on various aspects such as places of lodging, correct Hotel rates, standard rates on medical treatment etc.
    • The Police Cell to perform as a complaint redressal forum were the Forigners can also submit the petitions on various aspects to the police, which would be disposed on a war footing.
    • Establishment of a direct fax and Email service with the Special Branch and various Hotels for immediate transfer of information on C forms and other registration matters related to Foreigners.
    • All these steps has ensured that the Foreign Nationals who come to Kochi City get a more safer and secure atmosphere, while they are in City and also their welfare in various aspects is ensured. The police also on the other hand get all the information on the foreigners visiting the City, so that the general security of the place is not compromise.

Police Security Agencies Coordination Scheme

Another scheme that was implemented by Kochi City Police was the “Police security Agency Co-ordination Scheme” It is a scheme, enlisting the support of various Security and Detective Agencies to assist the police in crime prevention and also to provide information to the Police on crime related matters. There are many security agencies functioning in Kochi City which are providing security personnel ( Ex-service men or otherwise trained personnel) who are put on security duties in various ATMs, Banks, Shopping Establishments, Flats, Companies, Personal Protection, Shops etc. It is established that around 8000 such security personnel are presently functioning in the City. To tap this huge source of trained security personnel and to ensure their assistance to the police in the discharge of their duties, we constituted a co-ordination Committee of various heads of Security and Detective Agencies working in Kochi City chaired by the Commissioner of Police, with a primary responsibility of co-ordination among the Security Agencies. It was ensured by the Committee that the security personnel engaged by them and working in vari

ous banks/ATMs, will henceforth function in close co-ordination with the police at the station level. A special training was organized for the security personnel by the police to make them more aware of their duties and also for better co-ordination with the police department. The sphere of responsibility of these security personnel which was limited to their establishment alone was increased to the premises and the general neighborhood around them. The Security Personnel are now functioning as the eyes and ears of the police force and pass on the necessary information to policemen in case they come to know of any such crimes and criminals. The programme evoked a massive response from all the Security Agencies which has ensured that these 8000 strong Security Personnel fully support the City Police in Crime Prevention, within the City.

Suvarnavarsham – (An Awareness Campagin)

“Suvarna Varsham,” a weeklong exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kerala Police was held at Kochi City. The exhibition showcased the development of the force over the past 50 years, as captured in the changes in uniform of the personnel. Along with displaying 35 types of uniforms worn by policemen, starting with those from the erstwhile Travancore era, coming up for the exhibition are police weapons, riot-control equipment, scientific aids to investigation, telecommunications, security gadgets, forensic science laboratory, forensic medicine and equipment to deal with cyber crimes. This community policing initiative by the city police helped the force to reach out to the public.

The programme was named “Stree Suraksha Sandesam” and was inaugurated on 07.07.2007.

Stree Suraksha Sandesam (Saftey and Security of Women)

As another phase of community policing Kochi City Police started an initiative for equipping women to play their part in preventing and fighting crime.

The City police charted out an action plan to bring women also into the fold. Short presentations are being screened on nearly 30 types of cheating and duping methods often tried on women. The Women Cell, Circle Inspector, who is the chief resource person, coordinates the project. The project is being implemented in association with residents' associations in the city and Kudumbasree (small family groups) members. This is a continuous programme. The core team displays the short presentations, which include simulated situations acted out by the police personnel, to drive home messages of safety and crime prevention more effectively. The larger goal of the project is to evolve women as a pool of informants.

NAVODAYAM- (An Anti- Drug Drive)

The western part of Kochi is infamous for rampant use and sale of drugs, which not only breed crime, but is also the main reason for a lot of other law and

order problems in that area. To eradicate this menace form its roots, Kochi City Police in association with Rotary, NCB, PRD and a host of agencies initiated a programme called Navodayam- which literally means “A new dawn”. This programme is a Triple Edged Programme aimed at destroyin

g the evils of drug from its roots itself. The three pronged programme involves:-

Ø Massive raids to unearth the drugs and to arrest the drug mafia

Ø Educational campaign to Beat the Drug

Ø Rehabilitation of the Drug Victims.

As a part of this drive we observed the International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking 2007 in the City on 26-06-2007. As part of the above programme an Awareness Mass Run was held at Fort Kochi. An UN Day Commemoration Pledge Ceremony was organized were thousands of members

of public and school children participated. A massive Exhibition on the Anti Drug theme and a UN Day Commemoration Workshop was organized were people from all walks of life participated. The workshop was attended by various experts included presentations on Health Implications of Drug & Substance Abuse, Socio Economic Aspects of Drug Abuse, Drug Abuse, Prevention & Control – Legal Aspects etc. Coupled with these steps the City Police organized a massive and sustained raid against the drug mafia and we had stupendous results with record number of cases detected under the NDPS Act. Thus we could limit the supply side from one end.

On the other hand we started a massive educational campaign in various schools, Colleges, public places, parks etc where films, captions, notices etc were distributed and shown, on this principle of anti drugs. The city police also embarked on a programme of rehabilitation of drug victims and their treatment in association with Rotary, wherein more than 40 drug addicts were identified and admitted for rehabilitation and Medical treatment. A majority of these individuals have successfully come out of his menace and the City Police in association with the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchant Association have provided jobs to these individuals so that they start living normal lives. The programme has been a huge success and have received kudos from all quarters.

SUBHAYATRA - Traffic Awareness Campagin

Subhayatra – a series of traffic awareness programmes which was kicked off with a traffic awareness Carnival on 10th April 2007. It was the beginning of an intensive traffic awareness drive to impart the message of safe driving habit and to streamline traffic in Kochi City through small engineering innovations.

The carnival organised a competition for the Best Driver in Kochi City. A Free medical camp was also held. A demonstration of lane traffic was organised as a part of the carnival. Free pollution checks and free topping up of engine oils for all vehicles that came to the carnival were conducted. Various exhibitions on the police force and traffic safety equipments were a part of the show. The road show was also organised for creating public awareness on road safety.

Representatives of agencies likeErnakulam Merchants Union, representatives of auto rickshaw drivers and bus operators attended the carnival.

SUBAYATRA - Traffic Mobile Exhibition

An old police bus of the department was converted into a unique Mobile Exhibition with models of various traffic problems, safety devices, Accident photos, training films were exhibited inside and outside the bus. The mobile Exhibition was a big hit with the schools and it is still in high demand travelling to various schools in the State as an educational exhibition on traffic safety.

SUBHAYATRA - Police Road Theatre

As a part of traffic education we have a selected a group of talented policemen and they are organizing road shows, including small skits to make the public aware of the various aspects of traffic safety. These plays were staged in various public places and scho

ols to educate the people on the principles of safe driving.


This is another novel initiative of the City police were a Weekly Magazine on traffic safety initiatives by the police is published and distributed free to all the residential associations in the city and to the general public. The weekly contains the details of the good work done by the police in that week and also articles educating the public on various aspects of traffic and crime prevention.


A traffic Monitor scheme was also introduced in the City in active cooperation with the Residential Associations, NCC, Scouts/Guides and the Merchant Association, wherein able-bodied and educated youth were enrolled on limited traffic duty, by the willing and capable Residential associations, as traffic monitors. They were given proper training, in a well suited uniform by the City police. These monitors are used to control the traffic in front of the schools and busy junctions, near the various Residential colonies, to ensure that

the traffic is smooth, accidents are prevented, students line up to alight into the bus and also to ensure that the buses stop in an organized manner in front of the schools etc. Either the various schools or commercial establishments in the area, under the direct control of the various residential associations and under the full operational control of the traffic police, finance these traffic monitors. This has ensured that the non important junctions of the City which are not manned by the traffic police presently, have traffic monitors to regulate traffic, so that the roads are a safer place for the traveling public.


Kochi City Police also launched a major programme for Modernizing the Police traffic arrangements so as to serve as an effective and efficient system for immediate redressal of the grievances of the public and to attend to various traffic problems, law and order issues and crime matters, on time. As it is known, the Traffic Police stations and Control Room is responsible for attending to all source of crimes/law and order matter, accidents etc. happening in Kochi City. They attend to all source information received on the Telephone Number “100” and on the no 1099, and the Flying Squads and Traffic Patrols are sent to such concerned places, to deal with the various issues, effectively. In the present modern world, it is essential that the Traffic Police station and Police Control Room is equipped with modern equipments and gadgets so that the police can perform their duties better and also the response time for the police to reach the spot of any accident or crime, is reduced to barest minimum.

It is in this regard that we installed the Traffic Surveillance Equipment placed at various important Traffic Junctions and places of public thoroughfare. Traffic Surveillance Cameras were installed at various places such as Railway Stations, Bus Stands, Important Traffic Junctions etc and these Surveillance Cameras have been linked to the traffic station and Control Room through optical fibers. As a result of this, all these junctions/ places are manned 24 hours by the Traffic Station and Control Room. Due to such a facility, the Traffic Station and Control Room is able to known about any traffic accident or congestion or law and order problem instantly, and the police are dispatched to the area to deal with the problem, in the minimum possible time. This has immensely helped the Traffic Station and Control Room to reduce crime and also to attend the various needs of the public.


Kochi City Police in association with the Kochi Corporation and other voluntary organizations, launched a Novel project by Installing GPS Vehicle Tracking System in Control Room Vehicles in Cochin City. This is the first time that such a total scheme was introduced in the Police Department in the State. Under this scheme the fifteen Patrol vehicles and Ambulance of the City Police Control Room were fitted with electronic tracking devices, which helps the officials in the Control Room to monitor them on a 24 hour basis and accurately locate them, thereby improving the quality of service. These Police vehicles( Flying Squads, fitted with Smart Vehicle Tracking Systems (SVTS), use a combination of Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) network to keep track of their exact location and movement on a GIS map as a result of which the control room can reduce the response time in case of any distress by directing the nearest mobile to the scene. In addition to location, the system also calculates the speed and heading direction of vehicles in real time. All information thus collected is transmitted to the Police Control Room where it is displayed live on high–resolution geographical maps. The Control Room then despatches the nearest patrol vehicle to trouble spots in quick time. Also, snapshots of these locations are conveyed back to the Control Room through vehicle fitted camera.

Pride Suraksha Scheme (A Night Watch Scheme)

Police on its own cannot ensure a foolproof protection of all households in the city due to insufficiency of manpower and due to the adverse manpower- police ratio. Hence a unique night watch scheme was introduced in the areas under the various Residential Associations, by using public volunteers from that Locality, who were trained for local area night patrol by the concerned police stations. These volunteers in active association with the local beat policemen patrol or guard their respective colonies in the night. As these volunteers are the residents of that area they would be in a better position to identify strangers in the area and also to report suspicious activities in their areas, to the police. They work under the

full cooperation and control of the beat policemen on duty in that area. For better identification purposes, the concerned residential associations select these volunteers and the City police would verify their character and once clearance is received they were issued identity cards by the police to help them in their duties. These selected volunteers in assistance with the local police keep night watch in their respective areas to ensure that no theft takes place in that locality during the night. They also serve as police informers on anti social activities and thefts etc taking place within the locality. The scheme has been an enormous success not only in bringing down the crime rate, particularly the theft cases, but has also aided in the detection of various sensational property offences.

Night Squad members of Ponnurunni region-Palarivattom PS with Dy.Mayor of Kochi Sri: C.K.Manisankar, Councillor Smt: Jain and Police Officers.

The City police launched a new web site with the name www. a joint initiative of the police and the residential associations in the City. The web site carries all the latest news on the Police initiatives in Community policing and also the oncoming programmes in this field.

Traffic Congestion

Kochi city the only metro, commercial capital of Kerala State has the following specialties, the 4th biggest airport, 2nd biggest harbour in India, only International stadium, Only stock exchange in the state, seat of High court, capital of Sky Scrapper, 2nd biggest railway station, “Vyttila” the largest junction in Kerala both in terms of area and vehicle traffic. With all these specialties traffic related problems were on the rise.

The major problems identified in the road sector are narrow and congested city roads, the railway line dividing the city centre into two parts creating bottlenecks on the narrow Railway over-bridges and level crossings, absence of bus bays causing reduction in the road capacity, the increase in the number of personalised vehicles, which is estimated to be at the rate of 13 per cent annually.

The development of water transport facilities for cargo, passenger movement, improvement of the road system and proper traffic management were necessary, along with the creation of the suburban rail-based mass transport system. Segregation of long distance passengers away from the city centre were also warranted as part of the traffic management.

A struggling economy meant limited resources to carry out the above mentioned projects. With the rise in the number of traffic accidents and calls, there was a growing and legitimate concern that officers were being placed at increasing and unacceptable work load.

Kochi city Police held meetings with residents associations met to share resources, information gleaned from citizen contacts, and to identify strategies to address the ever increasing traffic related problem which was the bane of Kochi city. The following series of programmes were executed to tackle this menace.

Friday, June 18, 2010

When men in khaki offer solace

Police personnel volunteering to join pain-and-palliative care movement

The police, with their professional and political bosses nodding in encouragement, are joining the pain-and-palliative care movement, which is fast becoming a grassroots-level social movement in Kerala.

“We are encouraging the Police Department to have at least two personnel in each police station in the State trained in palliative care,” K. Suresh Kumar, director of the Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM), Kozhikode, who is one of the pioneers of the palliative care movement in the State, told The Hindu. Top police officers have been very supportive and have now agreed to make palliative care part of community policing.

Starting with the first ‘palliative-care-friendly’ police station at Chemmangad in Kozhikode city a few months ago, the men and women in khaki are signing up as volunteers in large numbers to offer solace and care to those who are terminally ill and bedridden. Dozens of police personnel in Malappuram district, the heartland of the palliative care movement in India, attended a two-day training on November 3-4 at Malappuram. On Thursday, over 60 police officers including Dy.SPs and Circle Inspectors attended a sensitisation programme at Aluva.

Training completed

A group of police personnel in Kerala Armed Police-2 at Muttikkulangara in Palakkad district has just completed their palliative-care volunteer training. In July this year, the KAP-4 at Kalliassery in Kannur district, at the initiative of its then commandant T.M. Abubacker, set up the Maitri Pain and Palliative Care Society.

“The police have a large network that is on call 24 hours a day,” P. Vijayan, Ernakulam Rural SP, who organised the Aluva workshop, told The Hindu. This is the first time that the officers of an entire police district are being drawn into the movement. Mr. Vijayan, who is a former SP of Malappuram, said he was inspired by his experience with the movement there. However, the police personnel would not be full-time volunteers. “Our role will be complementary,” Mr. Vijayan said.

Mr. Abubacker, who is currently SP, Special Investigation Group-3, CB-CID, recalled that when he, as commandant of KAP-4, suggested the idea of setting up a palliative care unit to his boss, IGP B. Sandhya, she readily agreed and had later asked other KAPs to follow suit. Mr. Abubacker also took the lead in setting up a palliative care unit in his native village Cheekkilodu.

M. Sainudheen, president of the Kozhikode City Palliative Care Society, is highly appreciative of the service provided by the police personnel in the three ‘palliative care-friendly’ police stations in Kozhikode city —Chemmangad, Kasaba and Panniyankara.

The five or six policemen in each of these stations, which are part of the Janamaitri programme, are made ‘beat officers’ in charge of 500 homes. They visit these homes once in a month and are familiar with the problems of the locality. The residents have the mobile phone number of the beat officer and in times of emergency they call him. “In case of a palliative emergency, the people call the beat officer who in turn gets in touch with us and we send out our home care units,” Mr. Sainudheen said. The beat officers also spot people who are chronically ill and are in need of palliative care—inpatient, outpatient or home care service.

Police participation

“They also organise local people, help in raising funds and arranging transportation to take the patient to hospital,” he said.

Mr. Sainudheen said the police participation helped to make people warm up to the police. He praised the Kozhikode police commissioner Anoop Kuruvilla for his role in linking the police with palliative care.

The pain and palliative care in Kerala has expanded to cover all chronically ill, bedridden patients, including paraplegics, kidney patients and incurable asthmatics. The ‘Malappuram model’ has, with its focus on neighbourhood participation and voluntary involvement, received worldwide attention.

“Police involvement in the palliative care movement will be the ultimate in community participation in the health care sector,” Dr. Suresh Kumar said.

And for the police, it would help them to improve their image in the people’s minds.

Crime takes a beating in West Kochi

Interaction with residents has helped the police clear a crime-prone zone

Leading from the front: Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ernakulam) P.M. Varghese and Circle Inspector G. Venu visiting the residence of actor Mammootty in the city as part of the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhati, in this file photo.

Every city has its weak spots. West Kochi could well be cited as one, as the area has long been notorious for drug peddling and petty crimes.

Not any longer. Ever since the local residents joined hands with the police, crime fighting has been effective in all sectors. “Interaction with the public was one of the reasons for the improved law and order situation here. As for drug peddling, we went for strict enforcement along with prompt reaction to information given by public. This has resulted in an increased flow of information regarding drug peddling,” said Sunil Jacob, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mattancherry.

The police, on their part, took steps to cut the supply lines that brought drugs to the area. The supply lines often led to pockets in Orissa and reached West Kochi through Perumbavoor, Adimali and certain areas in Alappuzha.

Along with this, the police started a de-addiction centre and rehabilitation programme for drug addicts. The programme started with public participation helped in the police efforts to combat the drug menace.

The basement of the building for the centre has been completed near Jew Town and the building is expected to be commissioned soon.

“We can feel this change in the crime scene from the situation at Mattancherry police station, which used to be one of the busiest police stations. At present, officers can be seen working leisurely,” said K. M. Husain, president, West Kochi region of the Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC).

Representatives of the residents association say that the police officers are responding well to issues raised during the monthly review meetings. This new-found confidence in the police prompts the public to come forward with information.

“There are many pockets in West Kochi, where police patrol jeeps cannot reach. These pockets used to be favourite spots for drug peddlers. The residents now alert the police about the presence of drug peddlers in their neighbourhood. This, along with prompt action from police, has helped addressing the issue,” said Mr. Husain. The police officers on beat duty have been accepted as part of the social network. As evidence, the police officials point out to the popularity of P.U. Haridas, head constable attached to Fort Kochi police station, among residents in his beat. He, along with Woman Police Constable M. Bindu, were selected as the best beat police personnel under the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhathi.

Janamaitri in 100 more police stations

Numberof murders has come down Global police association hails the initiative

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said the Janamaitri Suraksha, a community policing project, will be implemented in 100 more police stations this year.

Addressing the district-level inauguration of the project here on Sunday, he said the project had already been implemented in 43 police stations. ‘‘Such has been the popularity of the project that there is huge demand from people's representatives to get it implemented in their constituencies,'' he said.

He claimed that community policing had yielded results. ‘‘The number of murders had come down in the State from 393 in 2006 to 325 in 2009. Offences in Kochi city have come down by 38 per cent after community policing came into place. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has appreciated the initiatives in Kochi,'' the Minister said.

Mr. Balakrishnan said he had no illusion that everything in the police force would be hunky-dory overnight. ‘‘Nevertheless, community policing is a much-needed initiative. Over a decade, it may totally change the police-people relations in the State,'' he said.

Among those present on the occasion were R. Bindu, Mayor; P.C. Chacko and P.R. Rajan, MPs; Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose; Mohammed Yasin, Inspector General of Police, Thrissur Range; M.P. Dinesh, Superintendent of Police; Sukumar Azhikode, social critic; I. P. Paul, Leader of the Opposition in Thrissur Corporation; Jayaraj Warrier, actor; and Vidyadharan, music director.

Another police ‘act’ is ready

CREATING AWARENESS: Police personnel presenting the play in Kochi.

After the first play on traffic awareness, the City Police are coming out with another. This time to spread the message of community policing.

The play Nammal Onnanu, in the street play format, was premiered here recently. City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham, before the premiere, said that the concept of Janamaitri Suraksha scheme, the community policing initiative, had not reached the real beneficiaries.

“We contacted housewives and other sections who are the intended beneficiaries of the scheme, but they were unaware about the various aspects of it. This is despite repeated announcements made through media and distribution of pamphlets,” he said.

And that was when the City Police decided to try out theatre, once again. Based on the concepts outlined by Mr. Abraham, theatre personality Anil Karette wrote and directed the play. Unlike the previous play on traffic awareness, which had an overdose of slapstick humour, this one is more akin to theatre.

It traces the evolution of Thampi, a local mischief-maker, to a goonda. Chorus pops in at critical moments to point out how the silence of society breeds crime among them. It ends with the message that there is always chance for redemption. The police will help those who are willing to return to mainstream society.

“The play was set after one month’s rehearsal and we are now waiting for the rains to clear so that we could present it outside,” said Ajayan, a policeman who is acting in both the plays.

Twelve policemen from the City Police, of which eight are actors, are involved in the new play. Till the monsoon is over, the City Police will present the play in schools and colleges.

Medical camp organised

The City Police organised a mega medical camp as part of the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhati, the community policing initiative, at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor, on 02/11/2008 Sunday.

The camp began with the Janamaitri rally from Palarivattom Junction to Palarivattom police station. Actor Kavya Madhavan flagged off the rally. She later inaugurated the camp.

City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham presided. T. Vikram, Deputy City Police Commissioner; D.S. Suneesh Babu, Circle Inspector, Ernakulam Town North, Dr. Abraham K. Paul, president, IMA Kochi branch; Dr. N. Dinesh, secretary, IMA Kochi branch; Dr. V.P. Kuriype, chairman, IMA Cochin Blood Bank; Dr. M. Narayanan, treasurer, IMA Kochi branch; Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, convener, IMA Medicine Bank; P. Rangadasa Prabhu, president and P.K. Gopalakrishnan,

secretary of Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC); and Corporation councillors M.B. Muralidharn and K.G. Gopi spoke.

Deputy Mayor C.K. Manisankar released the Janamaitri news board, by handing it over to A. Ajith Kumar, secretary, EDRAAC.

Nearly 25 doctors specialising in various sections attended the camp, organised by the Kerala Janamaitri Foundation and Palarivattom police in association with Indian Medical Association.

More than 300 people availed of the services of the medical experts at the camp that lasted till 1.30 p.m.

Janamaitri, a unique success story

When police stations across the State were struggling with the first lessons in community policing, those in the city were already writing poetry in it.

Even when the top officials were finalising the guidelines for the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhati, the community policing initiative being implemented in the State, the City Police were fine-tuning its implementation in its police stations.

Officially, the city has only three police stations – Palarivattom, Gandhi Nagar and Fort Kochi – where Janamaitri is being tried out at present, along with 17 others across the State. But then Janamaitri was officially launched just a year ago, while the Police Residents Association Initiative in District Ernakulam (PRIDE), an interface for the police and city residents, will celebrate its fourth anniversary soon.

The attempt to establish a platform for interaction between police and city residents started in 2004 under the initiative of then City Police Commissioner Dinendra Kashyap. It was called Crime Alert Programme or CAP, which was soon rechristened as PRIDE.

Over these years, PRIDE has succeeded in ironing out the differences between police and public and was instrumental to a great extent in bettering the public image of the police. On their part, the police could also fine-tune their work by following the direct feedback from the public.

During all high-profile meetings, the City Police gets a mention these days given the often-quoted statistics of a 35 per cent reduction in crime rate this year compared to last year. “This mood is reflected in the PRIDE meeting. What we did basically was to address the main areas of crime in the city. Thus we could bring down thefts, especially during night hours,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

The monthly meetings of PRIDE (held on every second Saturday) used to go on for a couple of hours, with representatives of residents associations coming with long list of complaints. “Now, the meetings are over in just about 30 minutes, as complaints are mostly on traffic issues or issues that need to be attended by agencies like Corporation, KWA or KSEB,” said Mr. Abraham.

The success of PRIDE has triggered a movement for city residents to be more organised. “According to statistics available with us, there were 354 residents associations in the city in January 2008. This has crossed 500 now,” said P.K. Gopalakrishnan, general secretary of Ernakulam District Residents Associations Apex Council (EDRAAC).

Residents being more organised would ease the load on police. That was one reason why, the City Police could initiate steps like combined night patrolling, well before Janamaitri was conceived. Residents associations in areas like Ponnurunni and SRM Road continue to support the police in their fight against crime, as they used to do four years ago.

On the flip side, the recent rise in the number of residents associations has started affecting the functioning of EDRAAC. Along with PRIDE, the Apex Council had established interactive platforms with the district administration and the Kerala State Electricity Board. “These works were done on a voluntary basis and we are now finding it hard to manage so many members with such an arrangement,” said Mr. Gopalakrishnan.

The police are also feeling the pinch. “It is not that we have brought down instances of thefts and we can go slow on that front. We should keep up the vigil on that front and widen the scope of community policing. We have now brought in the drive against terrorism to the fold of community policing and will soon include new age crimes as well,” said Mr. Abraham.

On their part, the police are encouraging residents associations to come up with innovative competitions and campaigns to spread the messages – be it against terrorism or use of narcotic drugs. Both the police and residents association officials realise that the key to success in future is maintaining the tempo.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Janamaitri helpline for the public

KOCHI: The City Police are setting another example in community policing. As part of reaching out to the public through the Janamaitri Suraksha Paddhati, the City Police are planning to start a helpline for them.

This is to be another first of its kind by the City Police, as the 24-hour helpline will provide information to the public free of cost.

The Janamaitri helpline will have numbers of all police stations in the State, ministry offices, all MLAs and all MPs, leading doctors of Kerala, blood banks in all the districts, main hospitals, that of the Indian Medical Association and other related organisations, ambulance service numbers, legal cells providing information on legal issues, KSRTC, railway and airport, as well as numbers of leading business centres in the State.

“We are planning to cover all public utility services one can think of. Right now, the information collection process is on,” said Manoj Abraham, City Police Commissioner.

The service number, 4044333, is expected to be up by June end. While the listing of public utility service will be made free, those of business establishments will be charged minimally. Those interested can call up the numbers 4044390 or 4044391 to list their service with the Janamaitri helpline.

Kochi gets India’s first tourist police station

28 February 2010

Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Saturday said that the police would involve the local people in implementing various security measures at Mattanchery, which was known world over for the Jewish synagogue.

"Public participation has become very important for strengthening security in the area. So far, the police have been successful in implementing various security measures in the region through the community policing scheme," the minister said.

He was inaugurating the country's first international tourist police station and a tourism museum at Mattanchery near here.

The minister said that the Tourism Department would take the necessary steps to publish details of the tourism police in all leading tourism journals in the world.

"Tourism has been expanding rapidly.
The state will initiate various schemes in association with the Archeological Survey of India(ASI) and the related departments to attract more tourists," he said.
The minister also hailed the police for constructing a house for a destitute woman, under the Janamaitri scheme.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas, V K Ibrahim Kunju MLA, DGP Jacob Punnoose, IG B Sandhya, City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham and Deputy Police Commissioner George Varghese attended the function.