Home > Publications > Enhancing Police Response to Community: A Study of Victim Response Officers in Bahawalpur Region

Enhancing Police Response to Community: A Study of Victim Response Officers in Bahawalpur Region

Asif Naveed Ranjha1, Abid Rashid Gill2 & Asif Mahmood3

Police plays key role in community safety and maintenance of law and
order and peace. However, police in Pakistan has always been criticized for nonresponsiveness to public complaints, especially relating to petty crimes and
disputes. A pilot project of VROs (Victim Response Officers) was introduced in
three districts of Bahawalpur Region in 2015 to address the issue and promote
community policing. This research evaluates the performance of VROs in creating
responsiveness and resolution of local disputes by using ADR (alternative dispute
resolution) techniques. Data was collected from 285 respondents (complainants
and accused) through proportionate systematic random sampling. The results
reveal that majority of respondents were expecting negative attitude and
corruption at the police station. They had no previous awareness about existence
of VROs and came to know about their working after their arrival at the police
stations. A majority of respondents found VROs’ attitude very polite and positive
and their public dealing very different from traditional perceptions about police. In
the opinion of respondents, VROs exhibited more ethical, responsive and honest
conduct during their interaction, with them. Majority of VROs gave proper
attention to complainants and their complaints. Logistic regression model
confirms that attention of VROs in cases, their attitudes and dealing in comparison
to other police officers show contribution towards sustainability and continuity of
VROs setup.

Keywords: Police, Victim Response Officer, Community, Complainants,