Non-cooperation and nonchalant attitude seems to be a reason, police tell L. Srikrishna

At a time, when public feel banks are the safest place to keep their valuables such as gold, diamond and cash, the news reports that burglars decamp with hard disk from a bank branch in S.S. Colony is disturbing the depositors.

After the media reported this on Friday, many readers telephoned media persons/newspaper offices and were curious to know more about the safety aspects. Some from S.S. Colony even asked what really went wrong in the bank branch in their locality and asked whether the valuables were really safe.

For their part, the police convened a meeting with bankers, in which senior managers represented the banks/branches. While the custodians of public money admitted that they had the responsibility to protect the valuables, they however, expressed inability in getting the gadgets installed in place for some flimsy reason or the other.

The question posed, by depositors/account holders and borrowers who pledge their gold, is how safe are the banks.

What if robbers walked away with the booty? In these days, when criminals are more organised and have a more efficient network than the police how can the bankers afford to be nonchalant, they ask.

In the absence of CCTVs and other video recording gadgets, can the police catch the thieves with just the finger prints or any other little evidence? There are many more questions being raised by the depositors and jewel loan borrowers. Though the bank representatives of the S.S. Colony branch repeatedly maintained that only some hard disks were missing and the valuables were intact, doubts loomed large in the minds of police.

Assistant Commissioner of Police A. Ganesan said that the banks should take pro-active steps in this regard and should not compromise on safety aspects. When the robbers come to know about the absence of any gadgets, it would be easy for them but it would be a nightmare of the investigators to zero in on the accused.

Sources in the banking industry said that out of the 50 to 60 bank branches in the city limits, hardly 10 per cent were fully equipped with all kinds of surveillance systems in place.

They admitted that the ‘night watchmen only' concept still prevailed in many branches. During the day, there were no proper security guards posted outside the bank branch. Physical presence of trained security personnel would discourage strangers from loitering outside the premises, as sometimes they may be acting as informers to the robbers as it had happened in Chennai.

Profit making banks instead of inviting trouble, may buy peace by installing gadgets soon.

Keywords: CCTVburglary