The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 1 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Special unit request to fight crime

- Manpower shortage coupled with multitasking spur cops to move police headquarters

April 30: Police stations here will soon have separate crime control units if things go as planned.

City police currently have to juggle between a plethora of duties, including law and order management, VIP security, crowd control at the frequent protests and demonstrations along with crime fighting.

This multitasking with inadequate manpower has spurred the force to approach police headquarters seeking support for setting up separate crime control units in each police station to exclusively deal with criminal cases.

A police official said though Dispur had appointed additional superintendent of police Amitabh Sinha to look after criminal cases in the city in November, inadequate manpower was still a hurdle for him in properly dealing with criminal cases.

Sinha was appointed after the city witnessed a spurt in crime, including a murder, during October-November last year.

Though the additional superintendent of police has already managed to crack some murder cases and inter-state vehicle theft cases by adopting a different strategy, shortage of manpower was still a constraint for him.

“A policeman in Guwahati, particularly a sub-inspector or assistant sub-inspector-level officer, has to multitask, handling VIP duties, control protests and demonstrations and at the same time, tackle law and order problems. As a result, it becomes difficult for him to properly concentrate on criminal cases registered with the respective police station. So, we have moved the police headquarters seeking manpower and technical support for setting up separate crime control units in the police stations,” the official said.

The official added that they had already submitted a proposal, according to which each police station would have a separate crime control branch, comprising sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, havildars and constables, who will work under the officer-in-charge of the respective police station.

The units, once set up, would be equipped with computers, Internet connectivity and other tools of crime control, the officer said.

“The officers in the crime control units will maintain a database of criminal cases, co-ordinate with the additional superintendent of police (crime) and take up criminal cases like robbery, theft, vehicle lifting, murder and snatching, among others. As the number of criminal cases is increasing with the rise in population and rapid expansion, there is an urgent need to have an exclusive crime control unit to investigate those cases only. We are hoping to set up the units by the end of this year.”

There are 21 police stations and 10 outposts in the city and each station has a traffic branch to look after traffic management and cases related to the Motor Vehicles Act.

More than 12,800 criminal cases are pending with the police stations in the city. Dispur police station tops the list followed by Jalukbari, Paltan Bazar and Panbazar.