When it comes to keeping their homes secure, the city residents, it appears, take all possible measures at their disposal. Residents collectively take a few measures like appointing private security men through respective residential associations.

At some places, the residents take surprise patrols.

“We do it but not quite often,” says K. Kanakaraju, secretary, Thendral Nagar Residents' Association.

He says such a system is necessary because a lone night watchman can do very little to check crimes in a locality as the duration he takes to come around the locality provides ample time for burglars to strike at leisure.

At places like G.V. Residency, the residents operate the drop gates in such a fashion that those entering and exiting the locality are forced to use only one of the many ways available. And that way is under closed circuit television camera surveillance, says R. Raveendran, a resident and the honorary secretary of the Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore.

He also calls for closer interaction between the residents' association and the police station concerned.

This is one side of the story. One of the other sides is the easy availability of safety lockers. And the two are linked because the burglars mostly look for jewellery and cash, which are invariably kept in easily breakable almirahs at houses and not bank lockers.

If the residents secure their valuables in lockers there is very little for burglars to decamp with but then the residents do not always get access to a locker, especially at a nationalised bank's branch.

The reason for shortage of lockers, according to a banker is shortage of space.

He points out that the waiting list is longer at old branches which are in prime localities and have been in operation for decades. If residents were to approach new branches they are sure to get lockers.

He also says that banks have started increasing the number of lockers, thanks to space made available because of computerisation.

“The digitisation of operations has released areas that were used for furniture and storage of records.”

In addition to the banks there are also private players. Their patronage is as good as private banks, says G. Muniasamy, Senior General Manager, Sakthi Finance Financial Services. The company operates safes not only in the city but across the State.

They follow the Reserve Bank of India norms and adopt the nationalised banks' norms.

He says safes are the easiest security solutions for securing valuables for middle class families that cannot afford high-end security solutions. The advantage a private company like his offers vis-a-vis banks is that a customer need not open an account with them. A refundable security deposit and an annual rent paid upfront are what the requirements, he says.

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