Thiruvananthapuram: Ever wondered if children could discipline a city, check crime, and curb eve-teasing? Yes, the school children of Kerala have managed to achieve the same.
Called the ‘kutty police’ (little policemen) of Kerala, school children between the age of 14 and 18 have been managing traffic and check minor crimes in the state.
Their presence on the streets has led to a sharp decline in eve-teasers and drug peddlers, especially near schools. They have also helped curb the sale of cigarettes and gutkhas close to schools.
Way back in August 2010, the then Kozhikode police commissioner P Vijayan started an experiment and enrolled school children as part of the Student Police Cadets (SPC). A little less than two years later, 11,000 students from across 127 schools in the state are part of the force.
And their popularity is growing – not just in Kerala but across the country.
The student cadets patrol around schools in the morning and evening dressed smartly in khakis.
They have been trained by teachers as part of school-level community policing. Part of the ‘special curriculum’ are lessons in physical training and awareness on social maladies and crime.
Vijayan, who is now Thrissur Police Commissioner and nodal officer of the SPC, told Hindustan Times: “This farsighted school-level activity will generate big benefits like greater internal security, healthier and safer communities, and responsible future citizens.”
The initiative has received widespread appreciation, including former RAW chief Hormis Tharakan. The 2011 All India Police Science Congress had also recommended all states to raise SPC units. The National Police Mission and the Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh governments have also expressed interest in the initiative, reported the daily.