Thursday, 11 October 2007

AP Government moots village police concept to fight terrorism

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Oct 11: Faced with increasing incidents of terror and law and order problem, the State government has decided to set up village policing involving civilians. Each village will have a civil police officer assisted by a 15-member panel of "village guard".
The village police officers, though civilians, will be empowered to effect arrests of suspects in emergency situations. They will be responsible for the overall maintenance of security in their villages. The State government is finalising the village policing system and is likely to issue an Ordinance next month. The State government's move follows the recommendations of the Soli Sorabjee panel on police reforms. Andhra Pradesh will be the first State to implement the recommendations.
Each civilian police officer will draw a monthly honorarium of Rs 3000 and will be in "service"
for a period of three years. The only qualification for the post is political non-affiliation and
sincere background. They should be between 21 and 60 years of age. The police officers will maintain close contact with local community elders. There will also be community liaison groups, village defence parties and village guards to maintain peace and law and order in the villages.
According police sources, the village police officers and village guards will keep a watch over history-sheeted criminals and others with criminal record or bad characters.
The village officers will report the occurrence of any crime or law and order situation in the
village to the police and assist the police in bringing the offenders to book, besides maintaining a general vigil in the village.
District police superintendents concerned will issue identity badges to the village police officers and village defence force members.

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