Intro: The concept of SMART policing—S implies ‘strict’ but ‘sensitive’, M stands for ‘modern’ and ‘mobile’, A for ‘alert’ and ‘accountable’, R for ‘reliable’ and ‘responsible’ and T for ‘techno–savvy’ and ‘trained’.
Emphasising on the need for changing the ‘negative image’ of police, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for creation of a ‘SMART’ police force for better law enforcement and public–police relations at intelligence gathering in Guwahati on Decejmber 1.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi while addressing the two–day annual conference of DGPs–IGPs said that, “I would take this opportunity of suggesting the concept of a SMART police force for our country,” Modi said, Elaborating on the concept of SMART, the PM said S should imply ‘strict’ but ‘sensitive’, M for ‘modern’ and ‘mobile’, A for ‘alert’ and ‘accountable’, R for ‘reliable’ and ‘responsible’ and T for ‘techno–savvy’ and ‘trained’.
Stressing on the need to change the image of police in the eyes of the public, he said systematic and scientific change in policing could bring a big transformation. Referring to movies that generally paint a distorted image of police which has influenced public concept to a great extent, the PM said a concerted effort was needed to change it.
“The government of India must launch a PR exercise and reach out to these film producers and point to them that presenting a negative image of police at all times harm the overall image of the entire police force. The mistakes must be pointed, but only highlighting the defects will demoralise the entire force,” he added.
Modi also pointed how widespread media coverage of a single mistake of police leads to ignoring of the good work the personnel do, which deters the morale of the praise–deserving policemen. “With long–term agenda and goals, the public image of police can be changed,” he emphasised.
The PM underscored the importance of intelligence gathering for effective policing, stating that intelligence gathering was the most vital aspect for ensuring security. The Prime Minister said that from Chanakya’s time, the primary source of security for any society is an effective intelligence network. A good intelligence network ensures minimal use of force, he added, saying that he was happy to have got a chance to felicitate intelligence officers for their distinguished service to the nation.
The Prime Minister said taking this conference out of Delhi would bring more focus to the main agenda at hand, besides increasing the morale of police forces in the North–East.
Underlying that the sacrifices of the policemen in the line of duty have largely gone unnoticed, the PM mooted the idea of a small task force of senior police officials to work out how these martyrs could be honoured, their memories kept alive, last rites of deceased policemen performed with honour, etc. “Since Independence, 33,000 policemen have lost their lives. Forget about the general people, has even the police force remembered them?” he lamented. Modi also mooted the idea of a compulsory paper on the police force in the syllabus of police academies in each State.
An e–book, in the local State language as well as national languages, could also be compiled by the State government, detailing the sacrifices of policemen of their respective states, he suggested. “The souvenirs published at police welfare functions could highlight the sacrifices of the personnel in the cover story,” he added.
The PM also emphasised the need to concentrate on meeting all requirements of the policemen, like housing facilities, health care, education for children, so that they can focus on their duties. —Basudeb Pal from Guwahati