Police Launch Safe Community Policing Programme
On February 26, 2020 police in Tiruvallur District and two local universities officially launched the Safe Community Policing Program which was created with subject matter inputs from IJM.
Over the next 6 months, District Police will proactively meet with vulnerable communities to learn more about their needs and investigate their concerns—like local businesses who may be trapping other families into coerced situations of forced labour. Local government officials will also help organize awareness campaigns to address the problems survivors outline for them.
Government officials and survivors of forced labour joined the launch event on February 26, which also included a free medical clinic, cultural dance performances, and a station for selling survivor-made goods. A survivor-led street theatre troupe also acted out how families could approach police with confidence.
Several law enforcement officials who have led the way in freeing vulnerable groups were honoured and felicitated. Some of their recent initiatives have included proactively investigating cases of trafficking, setting up child-friendly police stations, and training more than 1,000 police officers on how to spot and stop trafficking crimes.
Mrs. Saraswathi, Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, also shared that: “Rehabilitation is not the work of the revenue department alone, but the judiciary and the police departments can also do brilliant work in the process of rehabilitation.”
Deputy Police Superintendent Prakash Kumar encouraged the audience by saying “Don’t look down but lift your head up high and stare into the sky. Aim high so your children will learn how to dream big.”
Altogether, IJM hopes this Safe Community Policing Program will build on the successes already happening across the state of Tamil Nadu. Overall safety and protection can be achieved for all people by improving local law enforcement and catering to the voices of survivors.