Participation of the masses in anything and their active cooperation can help miracles to take place. What may appear difficult to accomplish on the part of an individual, organisation or agency, can be attained relatively easily with the involvement of the people in greater number. This proposition is substantiated by the recent success stories of the community policing in the country.
Community policing in the country started its humble journey in Mymensingh with the formation of Town Defence Party some three decades back. Now the movement, given its benefit, has gained popularity and has spread across the country with more than one million members organised in as many as 60 thousand committees. Members of community policing have helped law enforcement agencies arrest more than 27 thousand criminals and offenders over a period of one year. They helped contain crimes in society by providing law enforcers with information on whereabouts of all kinds of criminals.But their active role is not confined only to arresting offenders; they also helped resolve thousands of disputes on various issues. Members of community policing also played role in the fight against eve-teasing, child marriage, drug abuse, militancy and other crimes.
These successes of the mass policing system only suggest that the members of the community can be of far greater service to the society provided that they are organised in a more efficient manner and given necessary training, particularly for guarding localities at night and raising awareness against social crimes. But these potentials remain to be explored to their fullest possible extent for lack of a proper guideline showing the path of organising them in every village and streamlining their activities.
However, though belatedly, steps have reportedly been taken to prepare a guideline with directives about their activities. The Police Headquarter has also planned a set of action plan for community policing. It is hoped that these measures would help harness the advantages of this mass policing system as a subsidiary to law enforcement agencies. But restrictive measures should also be there so that members of community policing cannot victimise innocent people.