Atal Sehbhagita Kendra (Chandigarh Police)
Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) conducted the Pre-Launch assessment of e-beat system of Chandigarh Police.
Beat system is part of policing since its inception. Beat, a geographical territory within the jurisdiction of a police station in a city, is constituted for better law and order maintenance, crime prevention and detection, and to liaison with the citizens.
The stated mandate for the beat staff is prevention of crime, maintenance of law and order, collection of intelligence of general nature, meetings with the senior citizens, enquiries into certain types of complaints, verification reports, implementing community policing schemes, and fostering communal harmony. To strengthen and revive the beat system, Chandigarh Police has taken an e-initiative by making the beat system technology-driven and started an application called e-beatbook.
Chandigarh Police, in an effort to revive its conventional beat system, launched the e-beat system. This is a mobile-based application in which the beat staff feeds information applicable to a beat as per the mandate in the digital format. The pre-launch impact assessment of e-Beat system of Chandigarh Police was conducted in sample Police Stations, within the Divisions and Beats.
Revival of the beat constable system for the collection of information is definitely a laudable step. Its effective implementation would definitely empower the staff posted in the beats and fix their accountability towards the responsibility assigned to them, only if the staff is solely dedicated to the beat. Providing e-Beat Books would help in standardized, prompt, and authentic collection of intelligence and information which tends to help in effective planning of safety and security of the area. It would also ensure timely disposal of the task assigned to the beat staff and enhance accountability; however, a lot depends on effective training and staff’s dedication. As the e-Beat App has provision for the monitoring of the field presence of the beat staff, but how effectively are they monitored, that would be crucial for the success of the beat system. However, the objective of linking and using the strengths of the law-abiding citizen community by providing them a platform to interact and communicate with the local police for the redressal of their grievances, sharing of any information, making request for the services not available through this App now could be at a later stage by the police through the e-Saathi App [Citizen’s Interface].
Availability of the dedicated staff is vital for the success of the beat system. The beat boxes should be equipped with the basis facilities for the staff and visitors. The necessary changes in the application e-Beat Book, such as, search, retrieval, and update of the information should be made in consultation of the beat staff and SHOs. Training and refresher courses should be planned. Need to ensure regular meetings with the residents, senior citizens, students et cetera to make the police presence felt and to build faith. Making the beat system humane for the staff by allocating duties in shifts, ensuring provision for lunch hours, and providing necessary facilities in the beat box must be ensured otherwise the department may face resistance from the beat constables to the technology which would not allow them to skip patrolling and presence in the beat.
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Chandigarh police’s e-beat book system implementation to be adopted by Himachal(IE-3-2-2021)