Bengaluru: Community policing is now playing at cinemas near you! What started off as an initiative to educate the city residents about crime prevention in their neighborhood, is now being screened as a short film amid movie screenings to reach out to a larger audience.
In a first ever kind initiative in the city and perhaps in the state, the community policing, an initiative started by a non-governmental organization Janaagraha two years ago, has now hit the 70 mm screens in cinema halls. The Madivala police, along with the volunteers, the area suraksha mitras, recently approached three movie theatres in its jurisdiction. The short film shows Area Suraksha Mitras and police work in tandem to prevent crime in their neighbourhood.
Taking a note of the initiative started by Madivala police, DCP (south-east) Dr. Rohini Katoch Sepat in November along with the volunteers of community policing later implemented it across all the police stations in December in the wake of crime prevention month.
Giving an insight on as to how the idea came to his mind to tap large number of crowds, Kiran, a volunteer of community policing in Madivala told Deccan Chronicle, “After conducting various beat level programmes, it struck me that what if we engage a larger number of audience. Quite often due to poor weather conditions, we had to stall street plays or screening of crime prevention programmes while being held on road.”
He further said, “I thought of engaging cinema theatres, as a large number of people go to watch movies. We could cater to the audience of over 300 people in one go. So, I put forth the idea to the Madivala police inspector, who immediately agreed. I along with other volunteers approached three theatre owners - Narsimha in Garebhavipalya, Krishna in Bommanahalli, and Sandhya in Venkateshwara Layout in Maruthi Nagar and discussed the idea with them.”
The theatre owners welcomed the idea and agreed to give a fair share of time to screen a 15 minutes video on crime safety and security awareness. A short 15 minutes video was screened in the interval on how to prevent crime in the neighbourhood. The video covers how crimes such as chain snatching, house thefts, attention diversion and robbery happen and how to combat them by being alert. The first screening was held in Narsimha theatre on 17th November.
Good response from cine goers
“When we kick-started the community policing programme two years ago with an aim to involve active citizens to improve the safety of our neighbourhoods, little did we know that it will receive a good response,” Kiran said.
Equally happy and proud to screen an informative video, Krishna theatre proprietor Ranganath said, “It was a matter of great pride for us to hold the screening of the crime prevention video. It has not only helped the police reaching out to a larger audience, but is also beneficial for us.”
The first screening was also viewed by the jurisdictional police who were also present at the time of screening. Dr Rohini Katoch Sepat, DCP (south-east) told Deccan Chronicle, “It is one of the noble ideas which was adapted and implemented by the Madivala police along with volunteers of community policing. Kiran, one of the area suraksha mitra came up with the idea and we immediately approved it as in one shot the police could get to cater to an audience of 250-300 people. Taking note of the success of the programme, it was later implemented across all the stations in wake of crime prevention month being observed in December.”
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