The system of policing driven by the collaborating efforts of both police and community in order to provide sustainable security to the society is called beat policing where the object is to remove the fear of crime by strengthening police-public relationship.
In police terminology, a beat is the territory and time that a police officer patrols. Beat policing is based on traditional policing and utilizes the close relationship with the community members within the assigned beat to strengthen police effectiveness and encourage co-operative efforts to make a safer community.
Dhaka metropolitan police area is comprised of eight Crime Divisions having forty nine Police Stations where 287 beats are active. Here every police station area is divided into 3 to 10 beats and in every beat one sub-inspector and one assistant sub-inspector are assigned to work. Again one inspector is assigned to monitor or inspect the beat activities.
Every beat in-charge uses a government’s authorized mobile number and the number is available to general public. For quick response to the crime spot, the patrol car of that beat area are used to reach that spot. Every beat police conducts ‘uthan baithok’ regularly at various places of his own beat area. That’s why he becomes acquainted with everyone and people feel free to seek help from him.
In Bangladesh where police is trying to modernize itself by providing quality service by competent, efficient and dedicated professionals enjoying trust and respect of citizens, beat policing activity of Dhaka Metropolitan police is adding a new dimension on that issue.
Adding speed to the regular policing:
Beat policing has added extra speed to the regular policing activities like investigation of cases, arresting criminals, executing the warrants, recovery of drugs, preventing smuggling, recovery of arms, regular patrol, collecting intelligence etc.
Through beat policing Dhaka Metropolitan Police is collecting information and gathering intelligence. Bit officers are collecting information not only of all the households but also of all the social and business organizations of their respective beat areas. For having information about the place and its inhabitants or employees of different organizations it has become easier for police to maintain law and order situation.
In the Dhaka city almost 20,12,809 tenant registration forms have been distributed till now and among them 1,78,51,05 filled up forms have been collected from households. This collection process has been started since 24/02/2016. DMP has given the highest priority for keeping the records and maintaining the secrecy of the information collected through this process. It has been strictly directed so that no harassment may take place. Software has been developed to record the information. The computer operators and other officers of police stations are being trained up on that software management too. These kinds of activities have already been applauded by law abiding people of Bangladesh.
‘Uthan baithak’ has recently taken the formation of a movement among the metropolitan police. These are the meetings in small scale to reach more closer to the people. Along with the officer in charge of the police station the inspectors, zonal ACs, ADCs, DC also are being present at these uthan baithak. These activities increases the police-public relationship which enhances the reliability and accountability of police.
The beat officers are maintaining personal and collective communication with the people of their respective beat areas. For this the gap between police and public is getting narrower day by day. It also works for reducing the fear of crime.
Through beat policing police officers are getting the opportunity to reach to the social and political leaders of the society who play the catalytic role in the law and order management system. That’s why it is becoming easier day by day to maintain law and order and keeping public peace and tranquility.
Beats are arranging public meetings in large scale too where people of all sects are being present. Here in these meetings conversation on law and order situation, prevention of crime, narcotics and eveteasing etc are taking place.
Many criminals and militias commit crimes and terrorist activities by taking rent in any apartment building concealing their whereabouts and signing no contracts. Using these apartments as safe house they are committing criminal activities and deteriorating the law and order situation. However the landlords have no idea about the activities of their tenants. But if beat policing can be introduced and make effective then in most cases it will be possible to identify the criminals and prevent crimes. Again in many cases the owners have failed to provide the definite identity of its own employees so that they can easily flee away committing any crime.