Gautam S Mengle
In order to get a measure of crime incidence in Maharashtra as well as the perception of the people about the police, the Director General of Police, Maharashtra, has proposed a survey across the state. The idea is to get an idea of the experiences faced by victims of crimes as well as their levels of comfort with their respective jurisdictional policemen.
In a 12-page proposal sent to the office of the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) last year, DGP Sanjeev Dayal, Maharashtra proposed that the survey, titled Project Vishwas Setu, be conducted across 965 police stations in Maharashtra. The contents of the proposal were revealed in a reply to an Right To Information (RTI) application filed by RTI activist and former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.
“At present, there is perceptible dissatisfaction about policing as a service in India. This perception on safety and state of policing has got enhanced due to the constant and relentless reporting of security-related events, especially by the visual media. This state of affairs could erode public faith in police working and can be dangerous for overall peace and stability. Maharashtra Police, therefore, wants to understand the perceptions of the people of Maharashtra on the state of safety and security provided by the Maharashtra Police and, more importantly, after identifying the people’s concerns, respond to improve the satisfaction levels of the people in the service we offer,” the proposal reads.
When contacted, Dayal confirmed that the proposal had been sent, and added that it was pending for approval.
In order to get an idea about the image of the police in the minds of the people, the police have divided the survey in three sections. While the first section will record the demographics of the households participating in the survey, the second section if seek to find out if any members of these households have been victims of crimes like theft, burglary, harassment or assault, and whether they chose to report it to the police. The third section will deal with the perception of the people with regard to the police as well as their perception of safety in their locality. The police aim to speak to a whopping 1,85,000 households across Maharashtra for this survey.
The execution of the survey will be given to an independent agency and a detailed questionnaire has also been prepared for this. The proposal has also outlined the budgetary needs of the project.