Delhi Police Deploys Bicycle Patrols for Community Policing

The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir flagging off the Bicycle Patrols by Delhi Police, in Delhi on May 30, 2017. The Delhi Commissioner of Police, Shri Amulya Patnaik is also seen.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir flagging off the Bicycle Patrols by Delhi Police, in Delhi on May 30, 2017. The Delhi Commissioner of Police, Shri Amulya Patnaik is also seen.

The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, flagged off the “Bicycle Patrols” launched by the Delhi Police at a function in Delhi on Tuesday.

The minister flagged off the first batch of 65 bicycles allotted to the Eastern Range of Delhi Police in the presence of the Guest of Honour, Manoj Tiwari, local MP; Amulya Patnaik, Commissioner of Police, Delhi; and a large number of police officers and residents including Police Mitras of the three districts of Eastern Range.

As a ‘green’ initiative for patrolling the parks, congested lanes and by-lanes, the cooperative societies, etc, the Delhi Police has introduced bicycle patrols to complement and supplement its existing motorcycle and PCR patrols which focus mainly on crime prevention along the arterial and main roads of Delhi.

Burning Case: DPS Housing Society

The risk of fatalities due to fire has increased manifold for the residents of DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, Sector 4, Delhi. People complain that the congested car parking in the Society has left no space for the entry of firefighting vehicles in the event of fire in the building.

Obviously, if cars are parked on the pathways meant for the movement of vehicles, it will not be possible for the fire brigade to bring the fire apparatus inside the building to extinguish fire.

Delhi Police and other law-enforcement agencies should take a proactive approach and prevent the accident before it happens because of illegal car parking at DPS Housing Society.

[ Read: Illegal Car Parking: People Are Not Safe at DPS Housing Society ]

According to an official communique, cycle patrols can go where traditional patrol vehicles cannot. The bicycle patrols will reach the narrow and heavily congested areas where mechanized vehicles find it difficult to reach and maintain a steady presence.

They will also be utilized for patrolling during odd hours when the residents are taking rest, since they are less disturbing.

One of the main areas of focus of these bicycle patrols will be parks where citizens including senior citizens and women go for morning and evening walks. The bicycle patrols will also be introduced in the university campus areas and near schools/colleges where the police officers can have a friendly interface with the student community.

[ Who Is Responsible for Crimes and Corruption in Delhi Schools? ]

With zero environmental costs and additional health benefits for the riders, the bicycle patrol parties will also bring the concept of ‘policing by community involvement’ close to the largely immigrant and working class population which inhabits several areas of these three districts.

The credibility and legitimacy of policing largely depends on the community support that follows from transparency in police functioning, integrity in exercise of its functions/services, and the accountability in doing so.

The camaraderie developed by the bicycle patrol officers will further strengthen the strong community-oriented policing practised by Delhi Police, it was stated.

[ Is Delhi Ready to Avert Fire Mishaps? Case: DPS Housing Society ]

The bicycle patrols will mostly be in ‘buddy pairs’ and will normally cover a distance of 2 to 5 kilometres per patrol. The patrolling officers are equipped with standard police communication equipment which will operate in ‘hands-free mode’ and function like mobile police posts of the local Police Station. Each bicycle has been fitted with cell phone docks and equipment for keeping other accessories.

While focusing on the ‘policing by community involvement’ model, the bicycle patrols will, apart from assuring the law abiding citizenry of their friendly and protective presence, also play the role of area domination, sending out a message of deterrence to the law breakers in the vicinity.

Being slow paced, the spectrum of observation of bicycle patrol officers will be qualitatively much more meaningful in detecting unwarranted movements and questionable/suspicious presence in the areas of patrol. The officers are being specifically trained to make a note of the happenings around them for sharing and validation.

As a beginning, a total of 65 high-end bicycles have been operationalized – 30 for North East district, 20 for East district and 15 for Shahdara district. It was stated that the scheme will be extended to other areas of Delhi in due course.

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Rakesh Raman