There is no perfect definition for the relationship police and public share with each other, as it varies across different areas and circumstances. The Police are entrusted with the responsibility to protect the community and to prevent crime. However, due to changes in circumstances, and an increase in crime, police require positive cooperation from the community. If both the police and the community work together, society will be a better place to live in. This necessitates trust and collaboration between the police and the community. Yet, the police-public relationship in India has faced numerous hurdles, with one of the major reasons being a lack of trust between them. To address this issue, proper accountability measures, community policing, and community engagement should be encouraged, fostering a positive police-public relationship.
Effective policing relies on the police having the confidence of the communities they serve, and this consultation gives the public an opportunity to contribute to the values and standards they expect of police officers. — Hazel Blears
The Police work to protect the society by preventing crimes and preserving the nation’s unity and integrity, along with the maintenance of a peaceful public order. With the objective of protecting the life, liberty, property, and dignity of the citizens, the police emerge as a key to sustaining peace for the common man. According to Robert Reiner, Policing by consent cannot entail complete universal approval, however, the whole philosophy of policing by consent indicates the role police have to play to manage conflicts in the interest of the society. The Indian constitution grants various fundamental rights to its citizens, one of which is article 21. The article 21 of the Indian constitution provides that “no person shall be deprived of life and personal liberty except according to the procedures established by law”. This article gives every Indian citizen the right to lead a peaceful life. However, the police alone cannot ensure the prevention of crime and maintenance of peace. A healthy collaboration between the police and the community is necessary to achieve the desired collective goal.
In India, the Public-Police relationship has been facing many ups and downs. Various efforts to build the trust between these two have been in vain due to the existing psychological gap. There is an arising need for community policing and trust-building between police and public in India. Community policing is the policing of a society in collaboration, consultation, and partnership with the community as a whole. This community policing is essential to ensure a proper blend of people and police, to maintain the societal order. The main aim of community policing is to reduce the gap amongst the police in public by building trust and cooperation. This is essential because, without trust, citizens are less likely to report any crime to the police or even cooperate during investigations. This research paper analyzes the police-community relationship, and studies the various factors attached to trust building between the two.
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