Their role will be to look out for criminals from their district among the crowd, writes S. Sundar

During Chithirai festival, the State police will deploy ‘spotters’ from all over the State in the temple city for crime prevention. A police official said that this was a departure from the past practice when such ‘spotters’ were deployed only from the neighbouring districts. In the heightened security arrangement around the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, the deployment of police from around the State will serve to bolster the security arrangement.

Large scale festivals which attract international attention also attract offenders from several parts. Each team of ‘spotters’ would roam around the Masi, Chithirai and Avani Moola Streets during the Tirukalyanam and the car festival. The teams would be available at other points in the city too, particularly, during the entry of Lord Kallazhagar into the Vaigai, which attracts thousands of devotees. The role of the police personnel in civvies would be to spot criminals from their district among the crowd.

“The crime team from the city can only identify local anti-social elements. In case criminals from other districts are on the prowl, the city police can identify them only when they behave in a suspicious manner. But identifying a known thief and chain-snatcher from outside the district can be done only by the police of that particular district,” the police officer said. Each district police will select the ‘spotters’ from their crime wing. The team members would carry photo albums of known criminals who are known to strike at crowded places. The police would also have the profile and case details of such criminals.

“When some untoward incident like chain-snatching is reported in the city, these teams could be given the task of identifying criminals of their locality by going through the video footage of closed circuit television cameras,” the official said.

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