Duliajan: The Assam Police will focus on preventive policing rather than being reactive in nature through adoption of more technology, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday.

Thrust will also be put on improving the infrastructure of the police and making the force more citizen-friendly, he said while addressing a press conference at the end of a two-day conference of superintendents of police here in Dibrugarh district.

Character-wise, we don’t want reactive policing, but preventive policing through adopting technology. The Assam Police is one of the most technology-driven forces in the country already. We may not be like Andhra and Telengana police yet, but we are on the right track, Sarma said.

Citing examples of the use of technology for faster work, he said portals will be developed for uploading of FIRs and forensic reports which will save time to a great extent.

He also stressed the need to check bank frauds and claimed that Assam Police has the highest recovery rate of attempted defrauded money in the country.

Sarma said Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar attended the meet on the concluding day, while the air officer commanding-in-chief (AOC-in-C) of Eastern Air Command and the general officer commanding (GOC) of 4 Corps of the army were present the previous day.

We have tried to give our officers an overview of the best policing practices of other states as well as the Centre and how we can emulate those, he added.

Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, said the problems of infrastructure shortages of the police force were also discussed during the meet.

He said, We will be giving Rs 250 crore for infrastructure development this year. We want to increase the housing satisfaction of the personnel from existing 15-16 per cent to at least 20 per cent this year, and soon reach the national average of 35 per cent.

Vacancies in the police force will also be filled and it has been targeted to make 16,000 recruitments by May this year, he added.

He added that the state government has adequate resources at its disposal to meet the requirement of the force.

The chief minister also underscored the need for the police to be more citizen-friendly and ensure that people get services – such as delivery of police verification reports and accident reports – promptly, without any hassle.

Pointing out that disposal of FIRs by the Assam Police is very slow, Sarma said the number of new FIRs lodged during the last year was less than the number of those disposed of by about 2,000.

The Assam Police’s conviction rate now is 7-8 per cent against the all-India rate of 45 per cent. Our target is to take it to 15 per cent this year and gradually reach the national average, he said.

The last eight months have been very good overall, but this is only the foundation, Sarma added.

During the meet, progress on charge sheets on cases related to recovery of drugs and arrest of peddlers, and other crimes including those against women and children were discussed.

Protection of national assets and ensuring proper rehabilitation of surrendered militants also figured during the conference.

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