According to the statistics for 2007, released by the National Criminal Records Bureau, Tamil Nadu had a total cognizable crime rate of 261.7 per one lakh population, while that of Chennai was 256.9. The crime rate, defined as the number of crime trends as it balances incidence with growth in population.
Chennai’s crime rate ensures that the metro is ranked a creditable 24th among 35 major cities in the country while Coimbatore stands at the 22nd position and Madurai at the 30th. However the situation in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru can send a chill of apprehension down anyone’s spine. Delhi has earned the skeptical distinction of being the most unsafe metro in the country, topping the list of the number of crimes.
According to latest government statistics, Delhi accounted for 13.2 per cent of a total of 3,43,749 crimes reported in 35 mega cities across the country in 2009 followed by Bengaluru (9.4 %) and Mumbai (9.1%).
Now picturise the following situation: Chaos, confusion, riots, gang wars!
Prior to 1999, the historical city of Trichy was a hot bed of the said situation. This was the reason for widespread panic and distrust among the public. The local perception about the police was at an all time low.
J. K. Tripathy, an IPS Officer of 1985 Batch and now Inspector General (Armed Police) Tamil Nadu Police, wanted to change that. He had known the root cause of rising crime rates in the city and had insights as to what was to be done to effectively curb the criminal activities in the area. The challenge was to pre-empt crime and, to gather local participation in doing so, Mr. Tripathy deployed the Community Policing Model which operates on the Beats Officers System (BOS). The approach here was proactive as the police constables were placed closer to the community (as against the Station House Officers - SHOs) and now were required ‘not’ to stay in the office but to make continual rounds on a shift basis in their neighbourhoods.
This Innovative Community Policing Model that created a warm atmosphere for mutual trust, enlisting community participation and shared responsibility bagged several awards for Social Innovation. Various innovative elements were present in this unique model. A technology platform to network all police stations thus enabling public to give suggestions and lodge complaints at any terminal was formed. The police along with few NGOs have facilitated the social development process in underprivileged areas through education, income generation and de-addiction programmes.
The experiment has brought in great dividends. As many as 261 criminals were nabbed and the crime rate dropped by about 40% thus making Trichy a city of peace and amity today. As a result of all these measures, the number of crimes in Trichy came down from 11,289 to 7,750 in just two years! The model is now being extended slowly across the state and has been adopted by the Madurai, Coimbatore and Chennai Police. This probably explains the decline in the crime rate in these cities. One cannot help but wonder whether the scenario might take a turn in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru if the Tripathy Policing model were to be implemented there.
In a world where trust and harmony tend to take a beating, it is promising to see such sons of India work sincerely to destroy such evils once and for all. Jalad Kumar Tripathy has indeed made us proud.