Sensing security

The Police Headquarters’ decision to go ahead with the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police (KMP) system is aimed at injecting some sense of public security. The KMP’s first phase beginning November 17 will focus on crime investigation and control as well as on maintenance of public order. The KMP will also have a high tech control room with a fleet of well-equipped vehicles at its disposal. All these new features will put to test the police’s efficiency. Moreover, the setting up of a separate section each for the press, human rights and complaint investigation will ease the information flow, simplify investigation and perhaps discourage police personnel from indulging in rights violations.

At a time when the capital’s security is perceived to be far from satisfactory, the new concept will be justified only if the police force would actually be able to bring down the crime rate considerably. Murderers, kidnappers, dacoits, extortionists and illegal tax collectors cannot be allowed to go scot-free. The police have often complained that lack of enough authority hinders their efficiency. To some extent, this may be true. But the fact remains that many police officers have tended to abuse the authority given to them. The police force must operate according to the democratic norms. Unless there is an effective mechanism for bringing to book the rogue cops, the public would not feel the difference, leave alone full security, despite the ‘historic’ or whatever kind of change.