'Covid-19 has narrowed public, police trust deficit'

Anwesha Ghosh
Saturday, 2 May 2020

"Initially, it came as a challenge for the police department because usually curfew is imposed at a certain area under particular police station. But here we had to cater to a nationwide lockdown keeping urging everyone to stay in their houses,"

-Inspector General of Police (IGP), Goa Jaspal Singh

PANAJI: Not only did this COVID-19 pandemic has significantly narrowed the trust deficit between the public and the police, there has been a 'paradigm shift' in policing with respect to dealing with citizens amid the lockdown, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Goa Jaspal Singh told GT.

"Initially, it came as a challenge for the police department because usually curfew is imposed at a certain area under particular police station. But here we had to cater to a nationwide lockdown keeping urging everyone to stay in their houses," he added.

"Our job was to ensure that people respect the lockdown and stay indoors. We first trained the PIs who later went to every picket and checkpost and briefed the force. Our men responded very positively and displayed tremendous energy in building good repo with the citizens," Singh informed.

Several videos of policemen from across the nation performing live music, to make citizens aware of coronavirus had been doing rounds on social media. Talking of the same Singh said, "In an State which is rich in art and culture it was likely that people will connect with local talent like. So we appealed to the policemen to spread message of social distancing and wearing mask through tiatr and music."

Exuding how the pandemic has brought about a 'paradigm shift' in ways of policing Singh said, "There has been a paradigm shift in policing with respect to dealing with the citizens at such a crisis situation. For the police across the nation, it is a sort of new innovation which can be used as a model in future."

Responding to how the public reacted to the strategies undertaken by the police Singh said, "The public have been very cooperative in remaining indoors and following law and order. They showed concern and extended their support to the police on duty by providing them with food and water. People have also lauded the efforts made by the police department not just in Goa but across the nation. "

Speaking about an untowardly incident that had taken place during the initial days of lockdown Singh said, "There was an incident that had taken place where a central paramilitary officer was involved. Despite warning from the police, some miscreants failed to follow the lockdown that's when the officer had to use mild force. But otherwise everything was under control." 

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