Conduct of Bengaluru Police amid pandemic wins public trust: Report

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Based on a study conducted about policing methods amid the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, a positive response was observed regarding the communication between the police and the public surprisingly.

The findings which are given the title, “Policing in Bengaluru during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Learning and next steps” was published on Wednesday and is supposedly clearing out the record of distrust among the police, said Janaagraha, the non-profit conducted the study interacting with 525 ordinary citizens, comprises also of migrant workers during the period of October to November.

As many as 65 per cent of the respondents revealed they had better and more interaction with the police officials during the pandemic said Katie Pyle, Head of Research and Insights, Janaagraha.

She said, “During the pandemic, the vast majority of citizens felt that there were more police personnel on the streets than ever before in Bengaluru. Some 61% of men and 67% of women surveyed said that they strongly agree that Bengaluru police have done a “good job” during the pandemic.”

The positive response was an outcome of the community policing model followed by the police and via engaging with the citizen volunteers at scale.

Various experts indicated that police could have provided better assistance and help to the migrant workers amid the lockdown and after. The 24 stations who were surveyed individually for the study had observed that they would welcome a little bit more training over communication skills with the residents.

P K H Tharakan, an ex chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), a former advisor to the Government of Karnataka and ex-chief of Kerala Police said, “The findings have brought about the importance of community policing in changing the public perception of police.”

He added, “Let’s take in the study and try to propagate the need for legislation, to institutionalise community policing in the police systems in our country, starting with Karnataka.”

According to Isha Pant, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Command Centre of Bengaluru, the findings are a reflection of the ordinary citizens to the police she had observed amid the pandemic. She said, “Interacting with the police in public meetings broke down barriers and showed that we are not monsters.”

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