To boost Delhi police force morale: Tea breaks and weekly offs

Mahender Singh Manral
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Following the police chief’s directions, DCP (North West) Vijayanta Arya held an event for staff from all stations and departments in the district in a bid to reach out to them

Refreshments for police personnel at duty points if their deployment stretches beyond eight hours, regular weekly offs, and appointment of an additional DCP-rank officer as a ‘Welfare Officer’ — these are some of the directions given by Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to all DCPs to placate the police force.

The directions come nearly a month after over 2,000 cops sat outside the Delhi Police headquarters at ITO to protest “inaction” of senior officers following the violence at Tis Hazari.

After a parking row at the Tis Hazari district court on November 2 escalated into a clash between police and lawyers, Delhi Police found itself facing an unprecedented crisis — of policemen and women questioning their leadership and making their displeasure with them known.

In a recent crime review meeting, the police chief asked all senior officers, especially Deputy Commissioners of Police, to devote time for the welfare of police personnel.

“Patnaik has asked them to provide tea and water to all police personnel on picket or patrolling duty at night. We have also been asked to arrange basic facilities like fans, heaters, drinking water and chairs in police booths,” said a senior police officer.

Apart from other directions, Patnaik has also asked them to conduct workshops on soft skills, human behaviour and gender sensitisation in all districts at regular intervals.

“The DCP of specialised units and an Additional DCP-rank officer will be designated as ‘Welfare Officers’ of the unit or district concerned for prompt redressal of grievances and complaints. An arrangement should be made wherein any policeman can meet the Welfare Officer and seek redressal of their grievances without any prior appointment,” said an officer, adding that the top cop also issued directions to open a subsidised police canteen for police personnel.

Following the directions, DCPs have begun reaching out to personnel. Last week, DCP (North West) Vijayanta Arya organised an event for staff from all police stations and departments in the district.

The last time Delhi Police saw unrest was in 1966, when over 6,000 personnel walked till Rashtrapati Bhavan demanding better wages and the right to unionise. It led to the formation of the Khosla Commission, under Justice G D Khosla, following which reforms were rolled out.