With the geographical boundaries of the city rapidly expanding in all directions, problems for the police in handling crimes are on the rise.
Though there are many factors that contribute to the occurrence of crimes in the temple city, a majority of the police personnel in charge of investigation believe that the mushroom growth of new dwellings, among others, on vacant sites in extension colonies is posing problems for them in an indirect way.
For instance, vacant plots in Narayanapuram and beyond on the New Natham Road may come under Tallakulam police rather than being partially covered by the Oomachikulam police. Similarly, dwellings which have come up at Tirupparankundram, Vilangudi, Iravathanallur and Anuppanadi may be under the respective city police station's jurisdiction. The confusion on the jurisdiction plays havoc while registering FIRs, police officers admit.
On a number of occasions, police teams which succeeded in nabbing the suspects realised that the person (and his accomplices) were involved in a series of crimes not only in their jurisdiction but also in other limits. However, they confined to recovery of lost properties in their area from the accused and sent the gang to judicial custody.
Some city Inspectors said that their counterparts in the suburban pockets had secured a few accused involved in robbery, waylaying and chain-snatching recently. “If the officers in the rural police had shared the ‘inputs' with us, we could also have recovered the lost properties,” reliable sources told The Hindu on Monday. An accused involved in chain-snatching incidents in Tirunagar had his hand in S.S. Colony and K. Pudur cases as well, the sources added.
Though the officers had, in the past, prepared proposals for expansion of city limits and inclusion of extension areas in the city police's jurisdiction and sent them government approval, the issue had remained “on paper” for a long period, an officer said.
The proposal would not only give a wider scope for the investigating officers to have control over the jurisdiction but also avoid slip-ups in probe. The database on criminals and their profiles too varied from one jurisdiction to another. Kalaiselvan, accused of robbery, was recently shot dead in a police encounter. However, the name continues to figure in the “wanted” list in a rural police station.
Recently, Commissioner of Police P. Balasubramanian said that attributing jurisdiction as a cause for delay was no more an issue as all officers had been instructed to register FIRs based on complaints.