Chandigarh, April 30, 2013: Bhawanigarh Police Station and Mansa SAANJH Kendra have been adjudged best police station and SAANJH Kendra during annual Police Station Visitors Week program organized by Altus Global Alliance through Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) amongst 396 police stations of four states/Union Territory of Assam, Chandigarh, Meghalaya and Punjab. It may be mentioned here that these annual visits by groups of citizens to local police stations are coordinated globally to produce comparable scores on five dimensions of police service i.e. Community Orientation; Physical conditions; Equal treatment of public without bias based on age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, minority or sexual orientation; Transparency and accountability; and Detention condition.
In Punjab, the PSVW was converged with the community-policing programme of Saanjh. Saanjh Kendra Mansa was assessed as the top Saanjh Kendra by citizens. Dr. Narinder Bhargawa was awarded for being the best and innovative SAANJH practices.
S.K. Sharma, ADGP (Human Resource Development and Community Policing), Punjab Police, mentioned that Punjab has converged Saanjh Community Policing Programme with the police reform. The main purpose is to improve the service delivery through citizen participatory policing.
Dr. Rainuka Dagar, Global Program Director, Altus Global Alliance informed that the sixth round of the annual PSVW was organised from in which 17 countries participated with 1,000 police stations receiving more than 5,000 citizens. She said that this global participatory program was aimed at improving the quality of local police services as perceived by local communities, taking into account the capacity of SHOs, the exchange of good practices and the effectiveness of accountability mechanisms in police stations.
In India, the PSVW organised by Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), an Altus member was implemented in four states/union territory of Assam, Chandigarh, Meghalaya and Punjab. A total of 396 police stations participated by welcoming 3,646 citizens to assess their stations. Citizens included members of NGOs, community liasoning groups, market committees, resident welfare associations, lawyers, women’s organizations, village representatives, slum dwellers, students and eminent civil society members.
Police Station Bhawanigarh, Sangrur, Punjab was assessed as the top police station from among participatory police stations. The award for consistency in performance was given to Chandigarh’s top assessed police station Sector 17.
To start the police reforms from the police station prove to be more citizen-friendly then many other reforms which have been initiated at different times and at different levels in India. This was the main observation made by Dr. A.A. Siddiqui, IPS (Retd.), Former DGP of Punjab and Manipur. Dr. Siddiqui further emphasised the need to converge community policing with the police station reforms.
Subodh Aggarwal, IAS (Retd.), Chief Commissioner, Punjab Rights to Service Commission emphasised that service delivery should be the main focus of police. He lauded the efforts to make police from enforcement perspective to service delivery though these kinds of initiatives. He further mentioned that the governance reforms in Punjab have not only been implemented in civil administration, but in police also. He further elaborated that under Punjab Rights to Service Act around 17 lakh citizens availed services from Police Saanjh Kendras.
Dr. Pramod Kumar, Chairman, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission (PGRC) highlighted the fact that citizen-centric reforms are the essential component of good governance. Technology per se cannot ensure dignified service to the people. The establishment of Community Policing Saanjh Kendras in Punjab has ensured both dignity and efficient accessibility to police services. The visits by the citizens living in the vicinity of the police station and members of the Saanjh Kendras can provide sustainability to the police station reforms.