If you are frustrated with rising incidents of crime in your city and want to bring the anti social elements in your city to books, then help your city cops in doing so, register yourself as Police Mitra.-Mohit Naik
The Police Mitra initiative started by the former Maharashtra DGPPraveen Dixit in a bid to augment the police-public relationship and to involve the public in day-to-day policing has been receiving a good response with nearly one lakh people coming forward from across Maharashtra to be a part of it.
The prime objective of Police Mitra initiative is to assist the police in their duties like crime prevention, crowd management, traffic management, safety of women, children & senior citizens thereby enabling the society to be more safe and secure. The concept of assistance of active citizens to the police called ‘community policing’ is being implemented across the globe.
With this initiative, citizens from all the sections of the society and communities come forward to contribute their bit to the efforts of the police. The Thane (Rural) police have gone one step ahead by encouraging transgenders to participate in society via this progressive initiative and over 1,350 transgenders who reside in the twin cities of Mira- Bhayander have been designated as ‘Police Mitra’. Their ID cards give them the authority to help the police in fighting crime. They have been given physical training and medically screened to ensure that they are fit for the demands of the job.
Rajesh Pradhan, then SP-Thane (Rural) said, “We want to change the image of the transgender community and in that sense it is a unique effort. The transgenders are not given their due respect on human level and they are often regarded as a nuisance, harassing the public for money. As Police Mitras they have been selected on the basis of their motivation and fitness for the task at hand.”
The Thane (Rural) police have identified several ways that the 1,350 volunteers can be effectively deployed to manage crowds during large public gatherings, especially during major festival celebrations when chain snatchers and pickpocketers are active. They can be also deployed for traffic control at busy or dangerous intersections and as whistle blowers for crime.
Though the Police Mitra campaign was given a green signal by the IGP (Konkan Division) – Prashant Burde on December 15, it took time to identify the transgender members who could be enrolled as Police Mitra. One of the selection criterions was that they should be healthy, as the duty of Police Mitra involves chasing of criminals and other miscreants. The Police Mitra programme however, is not restricted to the third gender it aims to draw people from all the sections of the society.
“This is the first such attempt made by the Maharashtra Police. With the help of common people we can tackle crime to some extent,” said a senior police officer.
Accordingly, in 17 police stations in Thane (Rural) around 3206 Police Mitras have been selected which includes all the sections of the society viz. women, youth and senior citizens.
Police Mitras have now started participating in day and night patrolling duties, night rounds, nakabandi and summon duty as well. As of now, 42 Police Mitras are helping in summon duties, 293 in nakabandi, 287 in patrolling and 161 in traffic management. Thus, a good co-ordination of Police and Police Mitras are helping in curbing the menace of chain snatching, street crime against women, children and senior citizens. Sagar Kavach operation with the help of Sagar Suraksha Dal, catching of man-eater leopard in Kasara with the help of Police Mitras are a few examples of successful implementation of “Police Mitra” scheme.
Apart from Thane (Rural), other cities all over the state have also adopted the concept of Police Mitra and are likely to involve more citizens in it.
“If a responsible citizen is willing to participate in supporting cops in curbing crime he or she can register themselves through the Police Mitra Application. Those citizens who have a clean background will be selected and trained, said a police official.