New mohalla committees help reduce crime, suggests study
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A study on community policing and its impact on public order by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has revealed that 'new mohalla committees' mandated to protect the marginalised sections of the society, poor and needy people, dispute resolution and overall development of the locality in the city were highly effective in not just reducing fear of crime, but also in reducing crime.
While fear of crime came down by 49.14 per cent due to NMCs, crime reduction was as high as 49.5 per cent. A majority of the respondents surveyed 90.66 per cent said such groups resolved civil disputes faster than courts. The research covered eight police stations in Mumbai north region Bangur Nagar, Dahisar, Dindoshi, Gorai, Goregaon, Kandivali, Kurar and Malwani. Around 407 members of the new mohalla committees, 356 police personnel and 52 community members were part of the study.
The findings show while 92.87 per cent of the community members agreed to the view that local people prefer to approach the committees for grievance redressal over the formal system, nine out of every 10 respondents or 92.14 per cent said the committees should be legally empowered to strengthen the public-police partnership for developing safer communities.
"It is an empirical study in community policing and perhaps the first-of-its-kind in Maharashtra. Our findings reveal that majority of the respondents or 64.7 per cent felt that due to involvement of the new mohalla committee members, a large number of civil cases or non-cognisable offences resolved amicably. Further, nine out of every 10 respondents said local people often approached NMCs for grievance redressal through informal and dignified manner. Further, 63.09 per cent local residents and community members felt that swift and impartial justice was rendered by the committees and their problems were resolved faster (92.9 per cent) using alternative dispute resolution method," said TISS Prof Arvind Tiwari, project director.
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