Crime Control Methods

The present methods of crime control are as follows:-

History-sheeter Checking
A person convicted in a case involving property is declared a history-sheeter and the police are expected to keep a watch on them.  But currently the work of keeping a watch on the history-sheeter remains only on paper.  The history-sheeter does not stop his criminal activity because he has no other means of earning a living.  The policeman who is de-motivated due to various reasons to start off with, does not visit the criminal’s house to gather information about him and fills out his report.  Senior officers like me sit in our air-conditioned offices and are immensely pleased with the paper reports submitted to us.

While Jwalasingh was wreaking havoc all over the state, senior officers advocating old methods of crime control were ordering us to implement ‘Nakabandi’. Nakabandi means setting up road-blocks and checking the cars and people.  Pune district has thousands of kilometers of roads, both big and small. Even if I assigned a hundred men, how many roads could I barricade?  It’s absurd to assume that the criminals would use the highways only. In Pune the dacoits would usually strike deserted houses and approach on foot. According to senior officers Nakabandi is an important part of professional policing. The fact of the matter is that we are fooling not only the public but also ourselves into believing that Nakabandi is of any use – and the criminals in rural areas are well aware of this.

A Roll B Roll
Senior police officers exhort us, “Practise professional policing, practise professional policing!”  Sending ‘A roll’ and ‘B roll’ is an important part of this so-called professional policing.  If Jwalasingh was in Rajasthan, his description and all relevant information in a specific format would be sent in a letter to the incharge of the Police Station where he is supposed to have gone.  This is called sending ‘A Roll’.  Actually, Maharashtra police had absolutely no clue about the whereabouts of Jwalasingh.  Even if they got hold of information about where Jwalasingh was going to be, sending the ‘A Roll’ would easily take 7-8 days.  The concerned police station would take another 7-8 days to confirm this and launch an investigation.  In these 15-20 days Jwalasingh would commit crimes in Rajasthan and move to Madhya Pradesh.  It is also very debatable whether the Rajasthan Police would look for a criminal wanted by the Mahrashtra police very diligently.  This solution of sending ‘A Roll’ is like shutting the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted. 

Inversely, if a village police Patil in Rajasthan thinks that he has seen Jwalasingh somewhere, he tells the local police station, which then obtains a detailed description of the suspect from the police station where Jwalasingh belongs.  This is the ‘B Roll’.

Sending these ‘A Roll’ and ‘B Roll’ comprises professional policing, claim the senior officers.  The failure to look at crime realistically and search for innovative ideas of crime control has stunted the mental growth of senior officers.  They propose old solutions for old problems.  However, age old and chronic problems need new answers, new solutions.