waking up to flesh trade, drug, abduction threat

What is the situation of crime in Kathmandu?

Criminal activities exist in the Valley being a metropolitan city. However, Kathmandu Police has been working hard to curb criminal activities. We have launched crime prevention programmes that are supported by the communities. We have also devised the intelligence-based policing and community-oriented policing. They are paying off. We have been able to curb extortion and kidnapping cases, a major concern of the metropolis residents in the past few months. Today’s policing can’t happen in isolation, the police have to work with the community hand in hand. We are making rapid progress towards that end. Comparatively, crime in Kathmandu Valley is in a decreasing trend of late.

Why do accidents or crime take place? Is it that the people are not aware of the penalty, of do they think that they can pay their way off?

First of all, accidents and crime are two different things. Accidents occur unknowingly and are beyond the reach of a person who is involved in it. Crime is deliberate and planned. You need to have an intention in crime. In criminal science, there are two elements — mens rea and actus reus — that are needed for crime to take place. All activities that are forbidden and punishable by law are criminal activities. Ignorance of law is no excuse. Today, the people are aware enough to separate what is wrong and what is right so I don’t think they are uninformed of the penalty or the punishment. No criminal can pay his or her way off after committing a crime. Law is for everyone and the police leave no stone unturned to make sure that the culprits face the consequences as per the law of the land.

Nepal Police says: “Every citizen is a policeperson without a uniform”. Has NP ever thought of promoting honourary advisory local bodies like the responsible citizens, forum to support NP’s mandate on law enforcement?

We are working with the communities and have several programmes which seek active participation of the professionals. We are interacting with the responsible public to raise

their awareness. People need to learn to inform the police in any event of suspicion, even if they are not a direct party to this. We have a tendency of remaining unconcerned when it comes to informing the police. It is the duty of a citizen to inform the police if they come to know any suspicious activities that need police attention. NP is reaching out to the youngsters and students through School Liaison Programmes. We are giving instructions to the students about role and responsibility of police and the public in dealing with the crime. We give them tips on their role to prevent crimes in the society. We are helping the new generation to become good citizens.

As the guardian of the law, how is NP supporting the public, to stop criminal activities and to help those unaware to realise their duty towards the nation?

As I mentioned earlier, we have started community-oriented crime prevention programmes. We are focusing on three important issues - drug, prostitution and abduction. We are instructing the youngsters, the future of the society and the adults, too, how to be aware of these things. We are educating them to choose the right friends, involve in a good circle and be careful when they go out with their friends in the name of having fun. Sometimes too much of fun and alcoholism can invite crimes. We are leading the campaign against drugs. It is an awareness programme showing the youngsters what drugs can do to them. We are helping youngsters who do drugs by sending them to rehabilitation centres. We are serious about stopping the prostitution as well. As we can see extreme unemployment in the country, these problems are on the rise. We are working with the

INGOs and the NGOs to give these women some work, so that they don’t have to depend on prostitution to earn their bread. Prostitution and drug abuse contribute to a great extent of crime in the city. We, as a nation, need to work seriously in these areas if we want to free our society of crime.

For what reasons does one commit a crime deliberately?

It is the lack of employment opportunities for a growing population. Nowadays nobody wants to plough the land for the rest of his life. Everyone wonders as to how to make a lot of money fast for a better living. Everyone likes to eat fully and dress up well. Today a lot of people commit crimes to fulfill their desires. One wishes to look better than the other. Some parents work all their lives to eat and to feed fully, they don’t care about their living standard. These families can’t fulfill their children’s demands so to get these demands fulfilled one commits a crime. Impunity is another concern. A criminal thinks that s/he was not caught today means s/he will never be caught. Thus, the crime increases. A criminal must not forget that a crime can’t be hidden.

Is not too much of politics in the police department affecting the morale of the police?

Politics is in every field in the country, which is not always good. Politicians must let the police do their job without any interference. We need good and qualified people in the police. Transparency must be upheld while recruiting and nurturing police officers. Accountability is another important issue. Each person has to be accountable to the community and display full professional integrity to win over the public. Quality police is the need of the time. We can’t always focus on quantity to serve the interest of a certain class. Professionals should be recognised and rewarded for their good job while those performing badly need to face penalty. If an individual officer’s work is not responsible, then s/he should face the consequences. The whole organisation shouldn’t be dishonoured as it has been the case.