Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Area Suraksha Mitra for a secure City

Area Suraksha Mitra for a secure City
Sangeetha BK: Bangalore:DH News Service

To empower citizens to handle situations in both contigencies and neighbourhood security, a unique initiative called “Area Suraksha Mitra (ASM)” has been launched in Bangalore.


On the agenda are safe neighbourhoods where citizens have reliable assistance at all times in their homes, streets, neighbourhoods and communities.
ASM’s objective is clear: Comprehensive intelligence gathering from citizens and channelising the information to help the police department in tackling crime. The citizen is thus, actively engaged. The community acts as an effective channel of communication.

The Directorate of Home Guards, Fire and Emergency Services, has been geared to prepare citizens from hostile attacks by giving them appropriate training at ASMs. A Civil Defence initiative supported by the not-for-profit organisation, Janaagraha, ASM helps citizens actively engage in creating safe communities, neighbourhoods and handle contingencies in localities.

ASM’s role is also to assist the police, fire department and home guards during critical incidents like air-raid, floods, fire, earthquake, building collapse, serious accidents and other disasters by cordoning off areas, providing information like area topography, connecting the right people, securing useful equipment like ladders, ropes, buckets etc. The volunteers should establish working relationships with the local police authorities to share pre-defined information at an agreed upon frequency.

ASMs should also report proactively on strangers in the area, criminals, new tenants, foreigners and suspicious objects and people, and any untoward incidents. A household register for the given sector and a CD diary with the latest development needs to be maintained. The initiative should also give proactive advice on Civil Defence to the residents.

The Civil Defence Training Academy has included community policing as a module, for which the training is being provided at Nagpur.
So far, 50 Civil Defence Divisions (CDD) have been mapped which covers the seven police zones viz west, east, north, south, north east, south east and central. Each CDD will assist one to three police stations by providing intelligence. “For every CDD, as many 122 personnel comprising a divisional warden, one deputy divisional warden, ten post warden and 100 ASMs are assigned. Nearly 3,000 persons are being trained to become master trainers who in turn would be deployed in the divisions to train others,” informs Cheryl Rebello, Communications Co-ordinator, Janaagraha.
At Siddapura and Adugodi police station limits, CDD has been launched as a pilot project and 15 more will be launched by December 2009.

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