NEW DELHI: Over 250 people joined hands with police personnel in managing long queues, waiting outside banks and ATMs to get their demonetised Rs 500/1000 currency notes, as part of Delhi Police's 'Police Mitra' initiative launched today by Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma.
The civilians--mainly farmers, housewives, self-employed individuals, jhuggi dwellers, social workers, retired officials, students, advocates, ex-servicemen--came forward to help police in managing crowd in the southwestern range.
Varma hailed 'Police Mitras' for accepting this additional responsibility of assisting Delhi Police in various police duties like crime prevention, crowd management, traffic management, safety of women, children and senior citizens etc. He also appreciated them for their proactive role in assisting police, in the last few days, during the ongoing demonetisation facilitation arrangements at banks, ATMs, post offices and petrol pumps.
In the southwestern range, comprising west and southwest districts, 294 civilians including 49 women, have been deputed outside banks and ATMs which are being thronged by people after the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
"West and southwest districts have 166 and 128 'Police Mitras' respectively. The scheme was formally launched today but they have been helping our staff for the last few days. They helped in pacifying people in queues," Joint Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Dependra Pathak said.
The Southwest range is the first to roll out the initiative which other districts are to follow in the next few weeks. Delhi Police Commissioner had last month issued standing orders to implement the initiative. Under the initiative, every police station will have civilian volunteers, whose number will depend on the area, and they will help police in crime prevention and establishing a better public-police interface.
Those with "good social record" will be enrolled. Their job will be to help police in addressing issues like drug addiction, maintaining communal harmony in the area. The idea was suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Directors General of Police and Inspectors General conference last year where he had stressed that police forces should work on bridging the gap between them and the society.