From Positive Brand-Building to Crime Reduction
In an effort to improve community-police relations, citizens of Karachi and police officers gathered for a workshop titled “Community Policing for Responsive Governance”. Police officials and citizens actively took part in the training and ensuing discussion on the basics of community policing starting from community partnerships, problem solving and organizational transformation.
“It is not just websites run by the Police Departments, but also the content on these websites which will improve accountability and citizen engagement” said Amber Alibhai, General Secretary, Shehri Citizens for a Better Environment (Shehri-CBE).
“Historically the police was considered as an armed force, but this model made the police insulated and isolated from the community” shared Niaz A. Siddiqui, former Inspector General of Sindh Police. The concept of ‘Community Policing’ brings forward a more inclusive participatory approach, he added.
“Community policing can help the police reduce crimes and also improve their public image,” said Dr. Amir Farooqui, Deputy Inspector General, East Karachi. He further elaborated that this positive branding can only develop once the police officials themselves uphold the rule of law, starting with traffic rules.
Community policing is a shift from “Police as a force” to “Policing as a problem-solving approach”. This requires systematic changes at both relationship building level and the structural level, Iqbal Mahmood, former Inspector General Sindh, pointed out. “Police at the moment is just doing absolute firefighting! We need to move from this mindset to an intelligence-led policing at the town level focused on homicide, burglary, accidents, kidnapping etc. Let us sit down together and work it out together”, he concluded.
“Community Policing for Responsive Governance” is the first of a series of one-day workshops organized by our partner Shehri-CBE. Each one-day workshop has a dedicated two-hour Community – Police Interactive Session “Coffee with a Cop”, a campaign launched by Police Department Karachi’s East Zone to foster closer community-police interaction.