To have a safe and secure city, we all have to partner and collaborate. We need to have a multipronged approach and work together – with police, policymakers, citizens and civil society. We need to educate people right from the beginning, in families and in schools, so as to inculcate in them the basic ethics and values.
It is also imperative that gender sensitisation and education on human values be made part of the police training.
The police in the country are run by an obsolete British era law – the Indian Police Act, 1861 – which was brought for suppressing the nationalist movement. Several committees have suggested reforms, for example, the Dharamveera committee which submitted its report in 1976. But even after three decades the report is gathering dust.
Of all 35 states and union territories, only Kerala came up with a model police law, which reflected the democratic values and aspirations. There are states like UP, Bihar [and West Bengal] having Police Acts; however, these are at variance with each other. There is a need for uniform system of policing – adhering to the expectations of common man and democratic values.
Besides, measuring law and order on the basis of the number of reported crime is not the best way to do it. Such outdated mechanism is in practice primarily because of the quantification required in parliament and state assemblies. It should rather be measured by the level of confidence people have into the police system and perception about safety and security. Lastly, we also lack in technical surveillance. In absence of all these, the policing is reactive.