Kerala Police

The Kerala State Police is the state police for the Indian state of Kerala, and is responsible for statewide law enforcement. The Kerala State Police was formed in 1956 after the taluk of Kasargod in the South Canara district of Madras Presidency, the Malabar district of Madras Presidency, and Travancore-Cochin, without four southern taluks (which later joined Tamil Nadu), merged to form the state of Kerala under the States Reorganisation Act.[2][3] Kerala Police has its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital with Kerala Police Academy in Thrissur that runs full-term basic courses for sub-inspectors, Armed Police Constables, Women constables, Police Drivers and Telecommunication Police Constables. The head of the state police is the Director General of Police (DGP). The current D.G.P. is Lokanath Behera, IPS. The D.G.P. reports to the Chief Minister of Kerala, who is the chief executive of the state.[4][5]

Kerala Police Department
Flag of Kerala Police.svg
Common nameKP
Mottoമൃദു ഭാവെ ദൃഢ കൃത്യേ
Mridhu Bhave Dhrida Kruthye
(Sanskrit for "Soft in Temperament, Firm in Action")
Agency overview
Annual budget3,781 crore (US$530 million) (2020–21 est.)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionKerala, IN
India Kerala locator map.svg
Map of Kerala Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi)
Population333,876,77 (2011)
Legal jurisdictionState of Kerala
Governing bodyGovernment of Kerala
General nature
Agency executive
Website
keralapolice.gov.in

HistoryEdit

There is no authoritative record on the history of Police in ancient Kerala. The literary works of the Sangam period, namely Akamkrithikal, Pathittipattu and Chilppathikaram, depict the ancient policing system. The feudal system which existed in ancient Kerala gave way to a new structure under the Cheras, comprising Thara, Desomand Nadu ruled by Madampi, Desavazhi and Naduvazhi respectively. The semblance of a modern police force was created in the late 19th century in Travancore under the British rule. There was no unified geographical entity as 'Kerala' before 1956. The present Kerala Police Department was formed in the same year by re-organizing and merging of police forces in Travancore-Cochin States and the British Malabar State.[6][7]

GovernanceEdit

State police Chief is an IPS official with the rank of Director general of police. For the proper administration the Geographical area of state is bifurcated as South Zone and North Zone which is headed by Additional Director General of Police. Further, each zone is divided into two ranges viz Thiruvananthapuram Range & Ernakulam Range, Thrissur Range & Kannur Range respectively which is headed by an Inspector General of Police. There are two Police Commissionerates and 14 Police districts which are headed by District Police Chiefs, rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police / Superintendent of Police ranks as the case is. The Additional Director General of Police are in charge of a particular function like Administration Headquarters, Modernization, PCR, CBCID, Intelligence, Traffic and Training.[8]

TrainingEdit

Police training is an important aspect in the administration of State police and it is headed by Addl. DGP (Training) and Director, Kerala Police Academy. The training of IPS officers after completion of their training at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, probationary Dy.SPs, probationary SI is carried out by Police Training College, Thiruvananthapuram. Head Constables who are promoted to ASI/SI ranks are also trained in Police Training college. In addition, in-service/reorientation/ capsule courses are conducted for officers of and above the rank of SI in Police Training College. The constables induction training is given in the Armed Police Battalions for 9 months. The induction training of SIs in the Police Training College is one year. The IPS officer trainees on reporting to the State, they undergo training in Police Standing Orders, Special and Local Acts, Treasury Code, etc. at Police Training College, Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala Police Academy (KEPA), Thrissur is headed by Director in the rank of Addl. Director. He is assisted by joint Director in the rank of DIG. The Academy will cater to the training needs of all officers of police department including IPS officers

C-Branch(Crime Branch)Edit

Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) is the specialized investigation wing of Kerala Police which investigates cases that are entrusted to it by the State Police Chief or the Government or the High Court of Kerala. They investigate sensational crimes or complicated and serious offences which have statewide ramifications or undetected, which the local police are not able to investigate properly for want of time or skills. The Director General of Police Crimes heads the Crime Branch Investigation Department. The current D.G.P of Crime Branch is A.Hemachandran, IPS[9]
CBCID consists of 3 major wings divided based on the category of cases reported.

  • Hurt & Homicide Wing
  • Organised Crime Wing
  • Economic Offences Wing[10]

Armed PoliceEdit

Kerala Police has got ten battalions of armed police.[11] "Armed Police" is a slightly confusing nomenclature that has continued for historical reasons. It does not mean that the district police are unarmed. Functionally, the armed police battalions serve as reserve force to be deployed whenever and wherever the district police fall short of manpower in the maintenance of law & order. When so deployed, they function under the control of the district police officers and are returned to their camps as soon as the requirement is over. Unlike district police, they are not permitted to undertake crime investigation work.
The ten battalions with a total strength of about 6,755 are located at different places in the state. They are:

The Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry CellEdit

The Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell or cyber cell as it is often called, was created to prevent and detect serious and organized cybercrimes with assistance from other government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, and foreign counterparts. Cyber Cell generally enquire into matters such as hacking of websites, online cheating, email hacking, Nigerian scams, phishing, source code theft, identity theft, child pornography, social media abuse, mobile phone abuse, loss/theft of mobile phone and a growing list of computer, Internet and mobile phone facilitated crimes.[13]

Kerala Police Cyber DomeEdit

Cyber Dome is a visionary initiative and Centre of Excellence for Kerala Police, to meet the long term security challenges in the modern world; this is first Public and private association in combating with emerging cyber threats.[14] The law enforcement agency is located in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, under the constant guidance of Manoj Abraham IPS, he has been holding the Nodal officer position since its inception.

In 2016 the Kerala Police Cyberdome project won the "Innovative use of technology in cyber security" category in the SWI Innovation & Excellence Awards for Security & Policing.[15]

Cyberdome bags ISO recognitionEdit

Cyberdome has secured ISO 27001-2013 certification for implementing efficient information security management system, a first-of-its-kind recognition for a law enforcement unit in the country.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan made an official announcement of the recognition at the Cyber Fest 2017[16] held in the state capital –Thiruvananthappuram on 19 September 2017 on Tuesday. The chief minister will also inaugurate the mobile app developed to create cyber awareness in children and the web application developed by Cyberdome for mobile phone shops and technicians at the function.

Campaign against sinister online activitiesEdit

Augmented Reality (AR) based AppEdit

In the wake of online game threats, Kerala Police Cyberdome is set to launch a high-profile campaign among school going children using an augmented reality (AR) based app to catch the attention of children said Cyber Dome nodal officer IG Manoj Abraham IPS.[17]

WhatsApp groupEdit

To protect against banking threats, Cyberdome - the technological research and development unit of state police - launched a WhatsApp group platform against digital robbery, the end of July 2017 with the support of Reserve Bank of India.[18] The new initiative has gained national attention since it is proved to be an effective method to stop fraudulent online transactions, according to Cyberdome it is said In the initial ten days of its launch, online scams to the tune of Rs 2.34 lakh could be curbed, and in the first month, it touched Rs 23 lakh. According to Cyberdome nodal officer and Thiruvananthapuram range IG Manoj Abraham CyberDome already received enquiries from the police officials of Maharashtra and Rajasthan on how the Whatsapp platform worked.[19] Officials of all district police cyber cells, cyber police station, Hitech Crime Enquiry Cell and Cyberdome are also members of the Whatsapp group. As soon as they get a complaint, it would be shared on the Whatsapp group so that officials of the concerned bank and trading platform will take immediate steps to block the attempt.

Operation P-HuntEdit

The head of Cyberdome Chief ADGP Manoj Abraham and team launched an operation with the aim of crackdown Child pornography through electronic media, the state Police cyber team arrested 21 persons and registered 25 cases after seizing several child pornography pictures and video clips.[20] The operation started 31 March and still continuing.

State police chief Lokanath Behera said that the raids were conducted using technical expertise of the state police team to identify the log details of those who are browsing and sharing child pornographic material.

Operation P-Hunt,[21] was held at 45 locations across 12 districts and police seized laptops, mobile phones, computer hard disks and USB drives containing child pornographic video and pictures. Many of the pictures are suspected to be of local girls and this is being discreetly investigated. The raids, conducted under the direct supervision of district police chiefs, were assisted by shadow teams and a specially-trained cyber team.

The pornographic groups are found to be operating on Facebook, Telegram, and particularly WhatsApp that has strong encryption, and offers greater anonymity were able to track and identify by the Cyber team, many such groups and 84 specific individuals, who were engaged in large-scale distribution of child porn on social media and other ways. Manoj Abraham adding that the raids will be a continual process until all the Child porn groups will be tracked and eradicated from the web and social media spaces. This crime entails an imprisonment term of up to five years and Rs 10 lakh fine.

BSafeEdit

BSafe is a platform to prevent banking frauds like spam and hoax by Kerala Police Cyberdome available on both android and web application.[22] It was launched by Sri. Loknath Behera IPS, State Police Chief, Kerala in presence of Sri. Manoj Abraham, ADGP HQ & Nodal Officer, Cyberdome on 14th March 2020.[23]

Innovative initiativesEdit

Some of the innovative iniatives of Kerala Police include CCTNS (Criminal Crime Tracking Network System), 'Janamythri' community policing programme,[24] Clean campus safe campus programme,[25] Student police cadet,[26] Cyberdome, Sabarimala virtual queue,[27] Subhatathra,[28] Nirbhaya and Pink Patrol.[29]

Fight against COVID-19Edit

The spread of COVID-19 has put the Kerala Police on high alert. Two wings under the department — Kerala Police Social Media Cell and State Police Media Centre — working non-stop to create awareness about the virus, precautions to be taken and social distancing through videos, posts, memes and trolls on social media.[30]

Blue Tele-med AppEdit

Blue Tele-med App is a Kerala police - IMA - Blue EHR initiative, where police officers can use this Tele-med App and get medical advice on a video call, from the best doctors in Kerala and abroad. In these times of lockdown and when the police officers are continuously engaged in the field and extremely prone to sickness and medical ailments, this platform will be immensely helpful in getting the right medical advice. The facility is available for the general public also. A unique initiative in trying times for ensuring the medical health of the force and the citizens. The App is available in Google Play Store.

ADGP (Headquarters) Manoj Abraham said that the idea of a telemedicine tool to provide remote consultation came up during discussions to find new ways to provide maximum services at the doorstep of people so that they will remain indoors.

Hand-washing dance videoEdit

While the 'hand-washing dance video' posted by the Media Centre on March 17 has been watched by over 31 lakh people with nearly 40,000 shares,[31] the ‘Break the Chain’ video posted by the Social Media Cell released on March 20 has got close to 3 million views.[32]

According to Manoj Abraham, ADGP, Headquarters, and nodal officer of the Social Media Cell says “We didn’t expect such a reach for the videos. Whenever there is a disaster, the police department is physically present to handle the situation. But in this case, social distancing is the need of the hour. So we have to stay away from people but have to be with them as well. That’s where digital means come into the picture,”

The dance video has six policemen in the uniform showing the right way to wash the hands to the tune of the song, ‘Kalakkatha’ from the movie Ayyappanum Koshiyum. [33] The video went on to be appreciated by international media, including networks such as BBC, Reuters, AFP, and ANI, besides channels in the US, Russia, the UK, China, Italy and the Netherlands. The US Embassy in Delhi also shared it on their page.[34]

Break the Chain videoEdit

Via a goofy but well-meaning video, Kerala Police encouraging citizens to “break the chain” and practice proper hygiene as the coronavirus pandemic threatens the nation. This footage, shared by the Kerala Police Facebook page on March 20, shows a man coming across a computer-generated coronavirus, which sends him scurrying until he decides to make a stand. Aided by a police officer and a doctor, he uses hand sanitizer, dons a protective face mask, and charges at his foe, vaporizing the coronavirus in the process. A caption accompanying the video dedicated it to all “Health Department officials, volunteers, colleagues, journalists and the public.” Manoj Abraham, the Additional Director General of Police in Kerala, who was credited with the video’s concept

Yoga capsuleEdit

Kerala Police are now set to dabble in yoga to bolster ‘stay at home’ campaign.

The initiative, tagged ‘Yoga against Corona’, aims at entertaining the public forced to stay indoors and to ensure the maintenance of their general health and fitness levels at a time when avenues for workout remain restricted.

The police have designed the new campaign realizing that the same set of citizens who were unwilling to leave their fast-submerging homes during the floods are now reluctant to stay indoors and follow the lockdown protocol. A video of a 10-minute session of various Asanas shot at the Martyrs Column of the Police Headquarters was uploaded on YouTube and various social media platforms.

“When humanity is fighting against corona, locked in their homes, the Kerala Police have come up with a ‘yoga capsule’ specifically designed to strengthen the respiratory system,” said Additional Director General of Police Manoj Abraham, conceptualized the campaign on a directive of State Police Chief Loknath Behera, who devotes an hour daily for his yoga routine. Considering that the virus attacks the respiratory system, the police hope to add to the general immunity against it by strengthening the respiratory system through their new initiative.

Chat FriendEdit

Kerala Police social media team is using innovative methods to get people engaged in the home during the lock-down period. From conversing with people to giving them suggestions of must watch movies and sharing links of e-books Kerala police have become new 'chat friend' of people in the state.

"The traditional method of policing of interacting with people is not possible due to social distancing, so Kerala police is using the digital platform to reach out to people," Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Head Quarters Manoj Abraham, told in a press release.

The social media team has prepared a list of e-books that can be downloaded and also has a list of must watch movies. Not only that the team also occasionally share jokes with people during chat sessions.

CODE-VID-19Edit

Kerala Police has announced an online competition to come up with IT-enabled systems to help the police in the fight against Covid-19. The competition calls for participation of people with the technical know-how to develop such innovative solutions.

A police team led by Cyberdome nodal officer Manoj Abraham will coordinate the online Hackathon competition, ‘CODE-VID-19’.

“‘CODE-VID-19’ envisages to find technology-based innovative solutions for the police to effectively contain coronavirus for society’s benefit,” said a communique from the Kerala Police Cyberdome.

“‘Such IT-enabled systems can be used to track the movement of people who are under quarantine, get real-time data on the number of people being placed under quarantine and map their locations. The digital interface can also be used to make people file affidavits for travel pass online and prepare a database of vehicles used by people to travel during the lockdown,” Cyber security expert and member of Data Security Council of India Manu P Zacharia said police departments in other states were also into developing IT-enabled systems in association with IT experts.

Hi-tech to enforce quarantineEdit

The State police have been pulling out all stops to keep track of all in-bound international travelers to Kerala since early March 2020 and to also strictly enforce quarantine norms using technology, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Five Superintendent-level officers have been deployed as officers on special duty to coordinate the pandemic-related activities in five districts – Kasaragod, Kannur, Malappuram, Kollam rural, and Thiruvananthapuram rural. This apart, a special four-member team led by Inspector General of Police Vijay Sakhare has been deployed exclusively for Kasaragod, considering the fluid condition there.

There have been 1.3 lakh overseas returnees to the State since March 1, 2020, but the special teams would be focusing on returnees from countries categorized as at a high-risk for COVID-19.

The passenger list accessed by the teams from the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of the State police shows that over 25,000 in-bound passengers during this period were from Malappuram followed by Kozhikode (15,000), Kannur (6,400) and Kasaragod (just over 2,000).

“The goal is to keep tabs on passengers from high-risk countries and to check quarantine violations,” K. Sethuraman, DIG, who is coordinating COVID-19 containment activities for the police in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. Ashok Yadav, IGP, is coordinating the activities in Kannur.

Manoj Abraham, ADGP, Headquarters, said that the primary focus was on high risk countries as listed out by the Central government guidelines and included countries such as Italy and Iran. “However, this list keeps on changing as per the threat perception. Besides, the list of people can also be sourced from the medical screening conducted at airports,” he said.

The tracking down is mainly done with the help of three basic technologies, including verifying mobile tower location. The location history of these people could also be sourced from Google, which has agreed to it considering the present situation.

Geo-fencing technology, a location-based service to trigger a pre-programmed boundary so as to track breaches, is also being used for the purpose.

Feed the old, sing to the anxiousEdit

The state police have also started community kitchens in each district with the aim is to cater to the destitute and migrant labourer population in each district,’’ said ADGP Manoj Abraham. Ever since the national lockdown due to Corona virus impact, policemen have been busy visiting households and preparing lists of “weaker citizens” who may require their services.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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