New Delhi: The Delhi Police is undergoing a transformation of sorts under new Commissioner of Delhi Police Rakesh Asthana, in order to make the force a more disciplined, modernised, people-friendly and rule-abiding one.

Sources in the Delhi Police that this newspaper spoke to said that Rakesh Asthana is a “no nonsense” person and that he is very strict about discipline and punctuality of the force and its personnel.

The office of the Commissioner of Delhi Police has also issued orders and strict warnings to its personnel and all its senior officers to be punctual in office. The Delhi Police has made it mandatory for all its personnel down the line to ensure that all are present in office by 9:30 am and that no one is allowed to leave office before 6 pm. Mandatory maintenance of the attendance register with timing has also been ordered. The ACPs and DCPs concerned will have to report to the headquarters every fortnight with the attendance record and action will be taken against any personnel found to be habitually late.

Not only this, the Delhi Police Commissioner has also asked all the Joint Commissioners of Police to move out from the Police Headquarters and sit in their respective ranges. Sources in the Delhi Police say that unlike earlier times when Jt. CPs would go to the field only on special occasions; they have now been asked to also be on field with their respected DCPs to ensure better policing and maintaining law and order in the city.

On the condition of anonymity, a Delhi Police officer told this correspondent, “Delhi has never seen such a commissioner nor will Delhi ever have such a commissioner. He (Rakesh Asthana) is very strict, means only business. He wants Delhi Police to become a model police for the entire country. Even Special CPs are taken to task from time to time by him. He is concerned about the discipline of the force and I have never seen any commissioner who enquires about the lowest rung of the police.”

Soon after taking charge, Rakesh Asthana also initiated the merging of Delhi Police Control Room (PCR) patrolling vehicles with the existing police stations for effective, better coordination and augmentation of the police force, as this, according to police officials, will help increase the manpower in the police stations and help to attend distress calls faster. The integration of PCRs with the district units has led to reduced response time in attending to distress calls from eight minutes earlier to three to four minutes now.

Asthana also initiated the separation of police duties between the law-and-order duty and investigation duty of the police. Officers who are involved in law-and-order duty would not be given investigative duties and vice-e-versa. Therefore, officers who are involved in the maintenance of law-and-order duty would be on field and investigative officers would remain in their respective stations and focus on the investigation. Sources in Delhi police said that this was a long-pending demand and now that this has been done, better investigation can be done by Delhi police as the officers involved in investigation would not be distracted by law-and-order duties.

Not only this, the Delhi Police Commissioner earlier this week also put out strict orders to all its gazetted officers to adhere to the process for transfers as laid down by the Police Establishment Board to stop seniors from taking along several of their subordinates when they are assigned to a new posting. This, according to sources, was done to stop the practice of senior officers taking along with them their “favourite” staff to their new posting and that this had also led to unequal distribution of manpower of the Delhi Police.

Sources in the Delhi Police also told The Sunday Guardian that Asthana is also working towards making the Police force a more people-friendly force by training the police force to present themselves in a warm and friendly way while interacting with the general citizens of the city.

“Police is often looked at with fear and the Delhi Police is working towards imbibing the culture of friendliness within the police force. The Delhi police do not want citizens of Delhi to feel threatened when they go to a police station or when interacting with police personnel. Citizens should be made to feel warm and welcome. The police will train all its staff to present themselves in a warm manner when interacting with citizens,” a Delhi Police officer said.

Sources in the Delhi Police also told The Sunday Guardian that the Delhi Police will also take help of social media agencies to bring forward the good work done by the police force and also initiate interaction with the common citizens of Delhi and the Delhi Police to assuage the fears and bring out Delhi Police as a friendly force. It would also take up online campaigns, promote its image on social media, enhance the reach of content online, and create and maintain even YouTube pages that will feature the good work done by the Delhi Police. It will also take help from professional social media agencies to curb fake news on social media.

As part of the modernisation of the Delhi Police and keeping up with the new modes of crime and cheating, the Delhi Police has started operations of cyber police stations in each of the 15 police districts in the national capital.