CHENNAI: Chief minister J Jayalalithaa put the improvement of law and order in the State on the top of her to-do list shortly after being sworn in and there is no doubt she will have her work cut out for her.In recent years, land grabbing, political interference in police functioning, increase in political rowdyism, human and child trafficking, a surfeit of fake currency are just some of the things that have led people to lose hope in the police force.To that end, Jayalalithaaâs reshuffle of top police officers, especially her appointment of K Ramanajum as DGP Intelligence and J K Tripathy as city police commissioner, has created confidence among the public.Tamil Nadu has changed over the past decade and with it the nature of crime has also changed. From the old-style mafia gangs, which depended on extortion and kidnapping of children and women, a new kind of crime has evolved with no geographical boundaries and a focus on land grabbing.In suburban but developed Chennai locations like Beasant Nagar, Anna Nagar, Velachery people residing in individual houses have been forced to vacate houses by the land mafia while police looked the other way fearing to political interferences during the previous regime.The top priority for the Home department now is to reshape the recently formed Organised Crime unit in the Police department to focus on these land mafias and curb their links with gangs operating in other parts of the country.The second priority should be to put an end to political interference in the functioning of the police. There is a general perception that there is little or no political interference in the functioning of police work during an AIADMK regime, and people expect the government to continue to maintain law and order with an iron hand.In recent y e a r s Tamil Nadu police, earlier known for an excellence in intelligence gathering, seems to have lost track of its priorities.A lack of staff strength in local police stations, combined with a work overload has weakened the system.Steps should be taken to increase police strength and involve local communities in intelligence gathering.The changing socio-economic- cultural situation in the state with the onset of globalisation has also caused various social problems, making women and children especially vulnerable.Trafficking of women and children to other states and outside the country for commercial sex and forced labour has increased in the last five years. According to a Police study it was found that trafficking was on a rise in farm houses along the ECR. Despite knowing this, the police chose not to take action because of political compulsions.The Government should make an effort to impart training to police on women and child rights as they are perceived as being unaware of these issues.