Policing with a human face
Though there has been a change of guard in Kolkata Police, the police force remains as efficient and vigilant as ever. Better training and motivations from the top have made them a truly professional force as they continue to work like a well-oiled machine. Withstanding the onslaught of Covid-19 and reaching out to every nook and corner of the city with passion was not an easy task. But they did without caring for their safety.
Under the guidance and able leadership of new Commissioner of Police Soumen Mitra, the policemen met all the challenges. The unfortunate part of this fight was that they had to pay a heavy price as some of their colleagues lost their lives due to Covid infections.
Even then their training and upgrade of skills went hand in hand. To sharpen their communication skills for better interaction with international tourists and public visiting the state, the new CP has roped in the British Council. Their back to classroom initiative will help them in investigation, dealing with suspects and better handling of court cases. Conducted by the British Council, ‘Communicating with confidence’, will also include business correspondence, presentations to improve networking skills. Kolkata is a major tourist destination and also a getaway to the far east. Better communication art and ability to speak English will help overcome the language barrier of officers.
As per the plan, sergeants, sub-inspectors and inspectors will undergo about 50 hours of training spread over seven weeks. A total of 1,500 officers will be trained to upgrade their communication skills with focus on English speaking. Keeping in mind the duty hours, timings have been made flexible. Another feather in the cap of Kolkata Police is that only 20 crimes against senior citizens were reported in the city last year which is lowest among the 19 Indian cities with a population of over 20 lakh. Even the rate of filing of chargesheet (96.1) is the best in the country.
The figures amply demonstrate that the ‘Pronam’ programme for elderly is paying rich dividends. Not to get swayed by the success, the city police want to take the awareness campaign to a notch higher by training senior citizens who are not accustomed to new technology for faster dissemination of information. Despite the low crime cases against seniors, we are grateful to Lalbazar for sending patrolling officers to the homes of elderly to take their phone numbers and advising them to install CCTV cameras for their safety.
Their round-the-clock patrolling, prompt filing of chargesheet and scientific investigation of cases to nail the accused have made Kolkata the safest city in India as per the figures of NCRB. Keeping the crime rate low even during a pandemic when many people lost their jobs is a commendable achievement. It tells upon their efficiency and dedication to work. We hope the Kolkata Police continues to work with its human face so that residents can feel safe and secure in the city.