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.
Sylhet metropolitan police area is comprised of two Crime Divisions having six Police Stations where 68 beats are active. Here every police station area is divided into 6 to 17 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 Sylhet Metropolitan police is adding a new dimension on that issue.
increasing the effectiveness of police service
ensuring quick service provided by police
increasing the police-public relationship
Identifying the crime pattern and criminals
Enhancing the ability of police to detect the mystery of cases
Removing the existing fear of people regarding crime and police
Activities of beat police :
collecting intelligence about crime and criminals
increase the activities of prevention of crime by patrol and identifying the habitual offenders
maintaining law & order, preventing labour discontent and preventing political insurgencies
increasing the trust and mutual understanding between police and citizen through regular contact and interactions
ensuring regular contact between police and the members of the community
doing regular activities of police such as investigation of cases, arresting criminals, executing the warrant, regular patrols etc
rapid prevention of riot, labour insurgencies , political unrest etc
reducing the fear of police among the general people who are not criminals and helping to establish a bridge of friendship between police and the community members
maintaining personal and social communication among the community people
increasing public awareness programs.
collecting information about house servants, driver, gatekeeper
encouraging to use CCTV cameras
building public awareness to prevent eve teasing
promoting anti-narcotics programme
providing training to gatekeeper, security guard
conducting training on firefight and security of factories
solving the social problems through community policing activities
Engaging police in necessary points on behalf of community
encouraging community to appoint community police at necessary points
encouraging community to appoint night guards
collecting information about NGOs, college, community centers, student hostels, mosques, madrashas, garments and other social and business organizations etc.
Achievements of beat police:
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.
Information collection :
Through beat policing Sylhet 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.
Arrangements of “Uthan Baithak”:
‘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 DC, ADC, AC also are being present at these uthan baithak. These activities increases the police-public relationship which enhances the reliability and accountability of police.
One to one communication:
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.
Easement of the maintenance of law and order situation:
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.
Arranging beat meeting:
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.
Importance of beat policing:
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.