Popular hangouts in the city ignore security systems, making visitors vulnerable to risks

Are the bustling malls and other commercial establishments safe hangouts? Police have revealed that several malls, multiplexes and other popular hangouts continue to ignore security systems, making visitors vulnerable to risks.

Following the Dilsukhnagar blasts, police had directed managements of all establishments to streamline the security apparatus. Though most complied with the orders, their focus on maintaining security devices faded out gradually.

Vehicles entering the premises of some malls are not checked properly. Also, there is no frisking of visitors when they enter the malls through the rear staircase.

While some malls have been increasing the number of guards to augment security, others continue to use defunct door-frame metal detectors and unarmed guards, making the premises soft targets for terrorists, police say. Incidentally, security guards failed to detect a weapon carried by a policeman in civil clothes during a decoy operation at a mall in Ameerpet recently.

Surveillance cameras, too, are non-functional in several malls. Some managements even switch off cameras before closing hours. And, the practice has been making it difficult to identify those involved in crimes, says V. Satyanarayana, DCP (West). He adds that notices have already been issued to errant managements, asking them to rectify discrepancies and ensure quality security systems.

According to senior officials of the City Security Wing, advisories on the need for better checking are being issued to shop managements from time to time. Also, regular inspections are being carried out at commercial establishments to take stock of the situation, they claim.

Senior police officers insist that the city continues to be a soft target for terrorists. Even the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which probes blast cases, has warned of the elusive Indian Mujahideen operatives continuing to plot terrorist strikes.

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