Apart from protecting your family, yourself and your possessions, you can do a lot outside your home and family to prevent crime. By associating with other people and Police in your locality, you can bring in crime prevention awareness during your leisure. Residents of a community have very good knowledge of their surroundings. For instance, the Local Police Officer of the jurisdiction may not recognise a person in your locality/community, but the community people will be able to recognise him/her immediately, be aware of him/her, and ask him/her to explain his/her business in your locality.
The following are some of the ways in which you, as a community member, involve yourself and help the community bring down crime.
Friends of Police Committee is a new concept in which the members watch their neighbourhood by turn. You, by becoming a member of this committee of your locality, can keep watch on your neighbours' houses whenever the neighbours leave the house for work, holiday, etc.
In localities which are susceptible to dacoities, robberies, burglaries, you along with the beat Constables can perform night beats and keep a lookout for strangers and offenders.
If any person in your locality is spending Invisibly without any authenticated livelihood, you can inform about such person to your jurisdictional Police.
If anybody newly takes up a house in your locality, you can collect sufficient information about him. If you find anything suspicious, you can inform your local Police, who would verify your suspicions and take necessary action if need be
As a member of Community Policing you can find out whether the children and youth are cultivating healthy habits. If you find any child or youth going astray, you can inform the parents of the child/youth or the Police or other Organisations who could take preventive steps towards the same.
If there are a lot of youths without any proper means of spending time, you can encourage such youths to start Youth Clubs taking the assistance of Youth Services Department and Police.
If the parents of the youth are not aware of extra-curricular activities available to encourage their youth, you can educate them about such organisations, which promote extra-curricular activities. You may talk to your local Police officer or the Youth Services Department and collect sufficient information from them.
As member of Community Policing , you can encourage the members of your community/ locality to become members of Civilian Rifle Clubs and organise civilian rifle training in consultation and association with Police. Help your neighbours and keep a watch over anything suspicious you may see in your community. Report anything suspicious to the neighbour and to the Police immediately. For instance, strangers knocking on the front door or peeping through windows or loitering around the house in a suspicious manner. While reporting to the neighbour/ police, give a detailed description of whatever you have seen.
Get to know your neighbours well. Arrange for social and cultural get-togethers. This will help build feeling of oneness. Then everybody will come forward whole-heartedly to help any member at times of need. That is, in case some criminal does attack any house in the community, the others will immediately take steps to stop the criminal and inform the police.
If elderly citizens stay in your locality, enquire about their welfare regularly as a good samaritan. Keep a watch on persons visiting them. Assist them in getting medical, domestic and banking help.
Finally, by doing all this to your neighbours, you would be getting the same benefits which they get from you as a reciprocation of goodwill amongst neighbours.
It is this type of awareness and willingness to help that is the basis of 'Community Policing'. By being members of a community, and informing the Police immediately of any suspicious events in the community, you help in reducing occurrences of crime. This will make the life of criminals more difficult and occurrences of crime more rare. Crime will certainly be reduced.
The Director of FOP Mr. Prateep V. Philip, a former Gurukul Chevening Scholar and alumnus of London School of Economics has won the award for his project "Multimedia Training Centre for Friends of Police" which aims at creating better interface between the Public and the Police.