Police Public Relations

The Shopian incident is a glaring example of the same and testifies what the national police commission has said. The mishandling of a case of rape and murder of two women has set ablaze the whole valley. The result is that people are suffering and losing their lives for such misdeeds and inactions on part of one or two police officers. This omission has further tarnished the already stained image of the police force in the State.
Police functions are complex and the extent and cooperation of public is also responsible for this poor relation between the two. There is a need to create a healthy atmosphere of trust, confidence and mutual understanding between police and public in general. This is also a fact that police could not function actively without the will and cooperation of public. This cooperation is possible when the relations between the two are cordial.
But this doesn’t in any manner indicate or signify that the efforts on part of the police should not be made to improve public-police relations. Once this relation is cordial, the crime and violence will be much controlled, if not eradicated in totality which is only an ideal situation. Unfortunately, people have a feeling, and rightly so, that police is not loyal to the general public but is loyal to their political bosses.
There may be number of factors but the prime factor is that police does not function as per the mandate of law. On the contrary, they keep on changing there loyalties at the instance of the political parties. They are brutal to the general public and at times indulge in corrupt practices. People think it proper to avoid police involvement in many cases. It is only as a last resort that assistance from police is sought.
The cases of custodial killings and disappearances are an example which shows that how much our police force has been brutal to general masses. Every police man plays his part in determining public relations whether good or bad to the police. A survey conducted showed that defective system of administration of criminal justice is responsible for poor police public relations. The same survey revealed that 72 percent police officers agreed that delay in investigation or detection of crime is responsible for poor public relations.
The recent incidents at Shopian and Baramulla have taught us a lesson that police needs to be friendly, should seek cooperation from public and there work should be transparent. Policemen need a proper education on legal and ethical norms. The politicians should also stop unnecessarily interfering in normal police functions. Use of force should be an exception and not a rule. Let the big bosses in the police department start an initiative before it is too late.


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