"It is very important for the police to bridge the trust deficit that exists between the police and local communities. I always believe that the efficacy of any police force lies in its relationship and engagement with the local community," he said addressing a national conclave on community policing in the Kerala capital.
Singh also pitched for a nationwide action plan for community policing, saying there is an urgent need to come up with a technical architecture connecting local police stations with the local community.
The Home Minister said the initiative should be the guiding principle for police forces to go about in the future and assured his Ministry will take "positive steps" in this regard.
"While community policing should be the guiding principle of our police forces, I must say that building relationships should be our prime focus. I am of the firm opinion that community policing should be institutionalised in our policing system.
"There is an urgent need to come up with a technical architecture connecting the local police stations with the local community. A nationwide action plan for community policing and community contact needs to be formulated," he said.
Singh said challenges before the police were multifarious and changing because of increasing diversity and complexity of crimes on one hand and rising public expectations on the other.
"Besides the law and order issues, terrorism is also a cause of grave concern to us. Apart from global terrorism, the social changes brought about by the internet and social media have posed huge policing challenges and have completely changed the way in which policing is done," he said.
Singh said while on the one hand newer technologies have enabled law enforcement agencies to handle new age crimes and criminals, on the other, it has "hugely empowered" the criminals as well.
"Today, anyone sitting anywhere in the world can commit a crime anywhere in the world with impunity and anonymity. So, the question arises in the present day technology-driven world, what role community policing can play," he said.
During the event, he also lauded police force across states for doing their duty with sincerity.
"Let me place on record my deep appreciation of the professional commitment and the bravery of our police forces. People want a policing system that is responsive and responsible to the social context and local environment.
"The people of India today want a 'SMART', efficient and people-friendly police," the Minister said.
He praised the community policing initiative of Kerala government and its 'Janmaithri' project, adding formidable tasks before the police cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of the society.