BANGALORE: You can file an FIR at any police station. This may soon become a reality with the city police chief contemplating setting up separate FIR kiosks across the city. What prompts this move is an increase in the number of complaints against jurisdictional police officers refusing to register FIRs coming to light.
Independent FIR registration centres will de-link the initial process of registration of FIRs and investigation. Because of the sense of overload in police stations, officers often resist filing FIRs, said M N Reddi, City Police Commissioner, at an interactive programme organised by the Reporters’ Guild.
These centres, when set up, will work 24/7. Citizens can walk into the centres or kiosks and register their FIR without worrying about what jurisdiction the complainant is from. The complaint is immediately fed into a database and is automatically shared with the jurisdictional police concerned who then will investigate the case.
“The centres will have a complainant-friendly environment. Once the programme is set in place, we may initially see a sharp increase in the number of cases being registered. However, over time, the numbers will stabilize,” Reddi said.
However, Geetha Menon, secretary, Stree Jagruti Samithi, feels this is not enough. “FIR centres are only part of one-stop crisis centres proposed for the benefit of complainants after the Delhi rape incident. In these one-stop centres, there will be a victim-friendly atmosphere, on-call medico-legal and judicial services. We need a holistic approach to the issue,” she said.
OTHER ISSUES: Involving the community in policing, signal optimization, separate lanes for slow vehicles, doing away with free parking, bringing to book absconding police officers are other issues to be dealt with, he said.
10,000 New Rowdy Sheets
Reddi admitted that while Bangalore’s law and order situation was relatively under control, there was a need to strengthen efforts to control property crimes such as chain snatching, vehicle theft and house burglaries. Plan is to look out for repeat offenders and open rowdy sheets against them. Reddi estimates that over the next one month, at least 10,000 new rowdy sheets will be opened against rowdies.
What is a rowdy sheet?
Provisions to open a rowdy sheet against offenders are elaborated in the Karnataka Police Manual. A rowdy sheet is opened to include those using violence, involved in extortion, hafta collection, eve-teasing, robbery, etc. Once a rowdy sheet is opened in a police station, the police mount surveillance on these criminals, called ‘rowdy sheeters’. The police will watch their every move, and since they know the rowdy sheeters’ modus operandi, when crimes do take place, they are the first ones to come under the police spotlight.