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Home > News > PTI

Aspiring Beckhams to help Kolkata police

September 23, 2005 12:26 IST
Last Updated: September 23, 2005 12:29 IST

Taking time off from soccer, the city's aspiring David Beckhams will don helmets this Durga Puja to give the police a helping hand in maintaining law and order as part of the lawkeeper's strategy to intensify community policing.

The youngsters are members of teams taking part in the Friendship Football Tournament organised by Kolkata police in various neighbourhoods in the metropolis in July as part of an aggressive public relations campaign.

"Frienship Tournament is the biggest of its kind in the world. Altogether 484 teams took part in it. The participants were all boys," Joint Commissioner of the Kolkata Armed Police Zulfikar Hassan told Press Trust of India.

He said five participants have been selected from the teams for further training in England.

In reply to a question, Hassan admitted that the move to induct youngsters into law and order duty was aimed at boosting the sagging image of the police among the public.

He, however, added that it was also part of the community policing strategy, which sought to involve the public in prevention and detection of crime.

"Coming close to the people will help us gain public confidence. This, in turn, will encourage the people to extend greater help to us in prevention and detection of crime."

Pointing out that the concept of community policing was becoming popular the world over with most developed countries adopting the system, Hassan said there were two systems of community policing -- the old Japanese system or the Singapore system which was relatively new -- followed in most countries.

"Here, however, we follow our own system keeping in mind our own special needs. Adopting other models here will not help," Hassan said.

While reaching out to the hearts of youngsters through football, the city police are also carrying out an anti-drug campaign among them, he said.

"This, we are doing through the 'Knock Out Drugs' campaign. Drugs are one of the most dangerous threats faced by the youth. However, we are able to drive home the ill effects of drug addiction," Hassan added.

Pointing out that girls from West Bengal were found to be good shooters, he said plans were afoot to organise a firing competition to test their shooting talent. A boxing competition organised by the police is also on the cards.

Hassan said as part of its campaign to reach out to the public, the police are organising blood donation camps on Saturdays. The city police are also active participants in the pulse polio campaigns. "On every pulse polio day, we convert police stations to pulse polio centres."

Hassan however, admitted that the image of the police needed to be further refurbished. "We are also the product of society. We are as good or bad as any other."

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