How do Chandigarh citizens feel about the city’s police? To put it diplomatically, they think that the police can improve a lot. Particularly in basic courtesy and good manners but also in prompt and efficient service.
A study conducted by Professor Anil Monga, of Punjab University’s Centre for Police Administration shows a high level of dissatisfaction with the police in several areas. Professor Monga chose one police station in each of the city’s three zones. Sector 3 for the Central Zone, Sector 26 for the East Zone and Sector 31 for the South Zone. From each police station a list of 40 cases was taken. These cases were registered between March and May, 2011. After excluding outstation complaints and complaints registered by the police, the researchers met the remaining complainants and asked them to evaluate the police in turns of behaviour, infrastructure, procedures and promptness.
First the good news: 97 per cent of the respondents said that calls to the Police Control Room got prompt response and the police who arrived were courteous and professional in their behavior.
The bad news chiefly concerns prompt service: 67.5 per cent said they were not satisfied. In particular, respondents said that they received copies of their complaints after weeks and some said that they never got a copy. Another complaint was that the complaint that the policeman wrote was inaccurate.
Rough manners drew fire: 37.5 per cent said that police ignored citizens and 32.5 accused the cops of being downright rude. Only 17.5 per cent approved of police behaviour.
Based on the survey, Professor Monga’s report concludes with eight suggestions:
1) Hand over copies of complaints promptly
2) After the complaint is prepared, read it back to the complainant so that corrections can be made if necessary
3) Keep complainant informed of the status of his complaint through SMS or other electronic means
4) Improve soft skills, particularly verbal communication skills
5) Simplify procedure for release of vehicle in accident cases
6) Check cctc camera footage at regular intervals
7) Install more cctv cameras at parking lots, the High Court, rock garden lake, Secretariat etc to check theft
Policemen visiting crime scenes, particularly in theft cases, should be accompanied by a fingerprint expert and the dog squad.
This survey dealt with police only in their general operations. It would be interesting to know how police in specialized roles are perceived – for example Traffic Police, or Riot Police or Home Guards. Perhaps these surveys will come in due course.
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