‘Suraksha Setu Society’ (SSS) - Building A Bond between Police and Public
Suraksha Setu Society - Gujarat Police, Home Department

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The functioning of police department is to maintain the law and order with overall coverage of all aspects associated in maintaining the same. The primary objective behind the Suraksha Setu Society (‘Suraksha’ means ‘protection/safety’) was to ensure increasing reach of police department to citizens through various initiatives bridge the perception gap and bring in citizen involvement in police functions. The primary function of the police department is to maintain law and order and protecting and safeguarding the lives and properties of citizens. However, a need was felt encourage and promote community partnership so that incidents of crime can be reduced and resolved faster with the help from citizens. The need of the initiative was felt because – a. Citizens can become a prime friend of police department in reducing crime and brining criminals to justice b. Citizen awareness and involvement required to be strengthened to gain participation and faith c. There was a need to change the citizen outlook towards the police function. People perceive police department as tough people and hence hesitate to approach. This attitude was required to be changed. d. In order to reduce the crime rate and indulge citizens in resolving the criminal actions, it was required to gain the faith of citizens and bridge the communication gap. e. The police touch points were limited and hence was the response. It was felt that the reach of police should go beyond the normal law and order control and serve a more wider purpose for benefit of society f. The approach of citizen service delivery and its excellence could not be achieved in normal course of duty and there existed a gap between people perception about the police functions. This was required to be bridged through citizen-centric initiatives.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
‘Suraksha Setu Society’ was launched with an idea to bridge the distance between citizens and police department and bring them closer for collaborative assistance. This was required to perform the duty optimally and effectively. Various programmes being conducted under the project are meant to simplify people’s interaction with the police and also sharing the responsibility of maintaining law and order thus promoting citizen policing. Suraksha Setu is a state-wide public outreach programme of the State’s Home Department aimed at taking the role of police beyond solving crimes by bridging the gap with the society and by creating a feeling of trust among residents with their proactive and prompt actions. The Suraksha Setu was a mission program for positive bonding with public, reaching out to them at their doorsteps, and helping to promote conditions that lead to a crime-free and harmonious society. • The project has implemented 32 Suraksha Setu Societies registered for carrying out various activities for betterment of citizens. The array of activities completed by the Suraksha Setu Societies include- • Rehabilitation of Women Bootleggers (Ahmedabad City, Ahmedabad rural) • Self defense trainings for Women (Anand, Himmatnagar, etc) • PCR van facility for women (Ahmedabad city, Vadodara city) • Juvenile Rehabilitation Programmes (e.g. 864 juveniles from Surat City provided mobile repairing training) • Career counseling seminars (at Bhavan, Chikhli, etc) • Traffic compliance awareness (e.g. ‘U-turn’ program to promote road safety at Rajkot city) • Crime Awareness programs (e.g. ‘Be Aware’ campaign at Rajkot city) • CCTV Surveillance for crowded places to reduce chain snatching and eve-teasing activities • Computer and English language Training Courses • Blood Donation Camps • Film Screening on women empowerment, traffic awareness, girl child, etc • Victims (Rape, Domestic Violence etc.) to be guided/helped by Women Police personally. Suraksha Setu Society functions have helped police department to undertake various community welfare activities for benefits of community and thereby raised the brand in service delivery excellence with citizen bonding.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The solution proposed by the Home Department for augmenting the public image of police is an innovative concept in terms of a. Reach – All the citizens are part of solution user group as the solution has something to offer to every citizen from newborn to a senior citizen group. b. Array of wide variety of functions -Functions of society includes awareness, trainings, door-step services, recreation, surveillance, etc. c. Autonomy to department – The Suraksha Setu Society at every level is empowered to design and execute the services as per the requirements. d. Self-volunteer-ship: The functions of all the Suraksha Setu Societies are executed efficiently by the regular staff by going ahead of their regular duty. This has provided sustainability and raised faith in citizens for the initiative.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Suraksha Sety Societies have been formed at State, Commissionerate and District Levels. The societies are autonomous bodies registered under the Gujarat Societies Act. The Society has a Governing Council for general administration and an Executive Committee for day to day activities. The overall operationalization of Suraksha Setu Samiti is governed by executive committees established at State, Commissionerate and District Level. These committees govern the set of activities to be undertaken and carrying our operational analysis for the overall functions of the societies. Since the inception of the project in September 2012, these committees have undertaken wide variety of programs across the sectors, across geographies and across citizen groups. The Governing councils have full autonomy for the selection of programme / scheme related with security and welfare of society.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Home Department, Government of Gujarat conceptualized the project of Suraksha Setu Society for undertaking various citizen bonding initiatives across the state level. The vision was to symbolize power and authority but as a friend in need having sensitivity to people’s problems and willingness to proactively address the problems faced by citizens: 1. Home department – Government of Gujarat Home Department, Government of Gujarat was the nodal agency behind the vision and funding of this initiatives through setting up 32 autonomous societies. 2. Executive Officials at State, Commissionerate and District Level: Executive bodies were established to monitor and control the operations of all the Suraksha Setu Societies to maximize the operational reach of the police department. 3. Suraksha Setu Society – formed at State level, at commissionerate level and at District Level. There are total 32 Suraksha Setu Societies formed in the State for overall coordination and Management of various Citizen Welfare and safety activities in the state. 4. Entire Police departmental staff – Entire police departmental staff is involved as an integral part for executing the vision of Setu Societies in the state. Staff committees organize and take part in various citizen bonding initiatives.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The project involves various layers of functions and across horizons to reach to citizen for bridging the public reach to people. Various steps taken to implement the objectives were: A. Formation of autonomous bodies at Commissionerate and District Level governed by State Level Suraksha Setu Society: Total 32 Setu Societies were registered for the overall operations of the function. These bodies are empowered to take various initiatives and utilize the funding as per the allocation from state level society. B. The human resources for overall functioning of the Suraksha Setu Society is the regular police staff and the operations are carried out by staff are over and above their regular duty. C. Various other initiatives have been started including a. Suraksha Setu Kendra (Safety centres) – Setup for delivering wide range of services to citizens. These services include Complaint registration, granting permissions, license application, registration of tenants/friend of police, etc. b. Suraksha Setu Rath (Mobile Van): Suraksha Setu Mobile Van is used to promote information relating to public policing, awareness, crime prevention, and cyber crime related advisory. c. Public Information kiosks: Setup at public places like railway stations, bus stations, commercial places to provide information about schemes, safety and security instructions, List of hotels, etc.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Suraksha Setu Societies have been formed at all the district level (Superintendent of Police) and at Commissionerate level and there exist total 32 Suraksha setu societies in Gujarat State. This is an innovative effort that assist, support, undertake and supplement array of activities relating to law and order, peace, safety and security in the area of traffic, home safety, disputes, dowry, women safety, elderly people’s security, burglary, coercion, pressure-tactic, domestic violence, theft, hawker problems, noise pollution, cattle grazing, caste issue, terrorism, eve-teasing, ragging, family problems, etc. So this Suraksha Setu Society has 360degree coverage in reduction of crime and criminal cases across the length and breadth of society. 2. The various programs like training for women self defence, against domestic violence, cyber crime control awareness, enrolling 25000 citizens as a ‘friend of police’ initiatives, etc have helped creating mutual trust between citizens and police. The domain of initiatives of Suraksha Setu Society is widely spread providing equal opportunities to every citizen irrespective of their caste, religion and gender. 3. Some of the prominent successful outputs of the Suraksha Setu Society are in the area of women safety and support. Various initiatives taken under Suraksha Setu Society for Security and Safety of women and child are a. Rehabilitation of Women bootleggers and peddlers. b. Rehabilitation of prostitutes and their children c. Helping widows earn a decent livelihood d. Self defence training for women e. Curbing incidents of Eve-teasing f. Sage mode of transport for women in Need g. Curbing girls trafficking h. Counselling facility i. Self Help groups formation for women 4. Suraksha Setu Society has taken various initiatives for security and safety of elderly and senior citizens. These include a. Setting up kiosk for quick police help b. Enrolment of contact details with the nearest police station c. Arranging tours to various religious places d. Seminars and trainings for safety e. Dedicated helpline (1096) for senior citizens. 5. Some of the successful activities undertaken by Suraksha Setu Society till date for students class include a. Counselling (to cope up with exam pressure and failure, help in career choice, etc) b. Encouraging students to become ‘Friends of Police’ (FoP) c. Rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents d. Road and traffic safety training for school children e. Police to accompany school and college tours f. Drive to find missing children.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1. An apex Organization created at state level – Suraksha Setu Society at Gandhinagar The function of this apex body is to guide and monitor functioning of Commissioner and District level societies and prepare schemes for societies at all levels. This committee comprises – Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Director General of Police (DGP), Additional DGP, Secretary (Home), Financial Advisor (Home), Inspector General of Police (State Crime Record Bureau) 2. Executive committee at Commissionerate and District level The Commissionerate and District level societies work under supervision, regulation and guidance of state level society. • Commissionerate level executive committee comprises of Commissioner of Police (Chairman), Addl CP, Joint CP, Account Officer, DCP. • District level executive committee comprises of Superintendent of Police (SP), Dy SP, Account and treasury officer. A governing council is created at state level, Commissionerate level and District level for facilitation and approval for various activities in suraksha setu society. It is also ensured that the activities undertaken through this project shall not conflict/ duplicate/ overlap with any similar scheme of Government. The programs implemented under these functions will be over and above the regular duties of police officials. Full autonomy is given for functioning to all these registered societies so as to undertake any program/scheme related with security and welfare of people.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The preliminary obstacles encountered in the process of implementation of the project include 1. Ensuring the initiative undertaken has no conflict or overlap with the existing scheme of Government. Since the domain of work for Suraksha Setu Society is across the sectors and across the population, it is required to ensure that autonomous bodies are taking in priority and non-duplicate activities for citizen benefits. 2. Engaging the citizen participation was a challenge in the beginning: The very objective of the initiative was to bridge the gap between citizen and police and the same was initial challenge at the time of commencing the initiative. But as the time progressed, the Suraskha Setu Society has become a key channel for citizens to reach to police.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
1. Empowering the citizens: the services of Suraksha Setu Society have helped the empowerment of various classes of society specially the programs for Women, Students, Senior Citizens, etc have proved to be beneficial in various ways. 2. Mass awareness of police function and support: the awareness amongst the citizen for police function and extension of the same through schemes line friend of police has proved to be extremely beneficial in reduction of crime and criminals across the state. 3. Enhanced reach of police functions: The reach of police has increased multi-fold through these volunteer programs and also the provisions in Suraksha Setu Society for ‘Suraksha Setu Society Mobile Van’, Help Kiosks, Suraksha Setu Society centres, etc have further added to police reaching the beneficiary at their door step. 4. Gained the faith and created responsibility of ownership in citizens: Various rehabilitation programs, counseling facilities, traffic assistance, blood donation camps, self defense trainings, etc have been arranged by the Suraksha Setu Societies in various districts. This has led to strengthening the bond between police and public. As a result, over 25000 people have joined in ‘Friend of Police’ activity of the state government. 5. Going beyond the normal operations for citizen convenience: The project Suraksha Setu Society has proved the merit in terms of executing various programs out of the regular scheduled duty hours. This step taken by the Home department has been widely accepted and appreciated by citizens. 6. Strengthening informer network: The police have been able to catch up better with suspicious activities through setting up a strong informer network to get details on locked houses, liquor and gambling issues, etc. 7. Increased touch points with citizens: Through setting up various kiosk and Suraksha Setu Society centres, the human touch points have been increased to record missing requests, granting permissions, registering complaints, etc.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The structure of the initiatives and governing councils defined do not restrict the operations, scalability and sustainability of the overall functioning of Suraksha Setu Society. As the participation from various levels of Government Home department and presence till the grass root level is ensured, the project is highly efficient in operations and achieved to gain faith from citizens. There exist no barriers in operational extendibility of the initiatives and it includes poor citizens, rural population, Women, Senior Citizens, Students, tribal population, etc. Hence there exists no cultural or social boundary for the operations. The Societies are registered and are governed by regulatory and institutional control from the state government.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The project has helped to provide and undertake several community welfare initiatives resulting in more responsible, progressive and crime-free society. The police can act as a facilitator of change and has a big role to plane in changing the mindset of society. Such initiatives also help the department in identifying and nipping in the bud the motives behind criminal actions. Dedication is the key to achieve results in such a complex transformation of society. A collaborative mechanism is required for the fight against crime and criminals. The stronger the bond between citizens and police, the better will be the law and order situation for the society. These initiatives have not only helped government and police go beyond the service delivery, but also have facilitated to spread the awareness which otherwise would not have been possible for the department. The more the penetration of the Police department within the citizen, easier would be the core function of police. The transformation is to be brought about through awareness and motivation across the departmental staff. The outcomes of these series of initiative result ultimately into lower crime rate and safe living for the society. The project has proved that a Good Governance can be ensured with minimal investment but maximum participation from internal and external stakeholders.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Suraksha Setu Society - Gujarat Police, Home Department
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Manoj Agarwal
Title:   SSS - State Level Supervision & Monitoring  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91-079-23254419/ +91-079-23230534
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   support@gisindia.org.in  
Address:   State Crime Records Bureau, Near Police Bhavan,Sector-18,
Postal Code:   382009
City:   Gandhinagar
State/Province:   Gujarat

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