It calls for an enhanced coordination between the close-knit communities and the law enforcement agencies

In a bid to be more vigilant, the Delhi Police have reintroduced the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme (NWS) in different parts of the capital. The scheme that traces its origin to Europe, calls for an enhanced coordination between the close-knit communities and the law enforcement agencies.

Though NWS was initially launched in the capital in the 1980s and existed in other forms over the years, it saw its implementation waning away gradually. However, with the new Police Chief B. S. Bassi assuming charge, the scheme has got a new lease of life.

With the help of NWS, the police seek to involve community in reducing property-related offences like encroachments, improving community spirit in crime prevention, increasing police-community relations and reducing juvenile delinquency by involving youth.

According to the police, the NWS would include formation of committees that would be issued ID cards which would carry basic details about the individual including the number of family members. Apart from this, regular meetings will also be held to create more awareness on several aspects of the scheme, the police said.

“The members of these committees would meet the police officers in the area once a month and would remain in regular touch with the beat patrolling staff to ensure that there is better vigilance. Unlike the meetings with residents’ welfare associations, where the representation is from a certain section, the members of these NWS committees come from all ages and demographic and professional profiles making them more heterogeneous,” said a senior police officer from South East District where 22 such committees have been constituted in the jurisdiction of around half-a-dozen police stations.

So far five NWS committees have come up in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Chittaranjan Park police station, closely followed by Sunlight Colony and Lajpat Nagar with four NWS committees each.

The police pointed out that NWS will make communities more ‘alert’ about their surroundings. “Now, for instance, if a family has planned a trip they can alert the local beat constable through a simple text message and even their neighbours. You have many eyes guarding your house in your absence and reporting anything suspicious. In the longer run, it will deter those planning to strike. We will also put up boards and hoardings in different localities to improve the level of awareness and encourage them to install security devices such as CCTV cameras wherever possible,” he said.

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