Presence of police patrol instils confidence in the public, writes L. Srikrishna
About two years back, an Inspector of Police (crime) in S.S. Colony police station used to go around in his jeep within his jurisdiction limits by switching on the beacon light during evenings.
The officer used to stop the vehicle at major intersections and interact with the common man.
In places, where the street light was inadequate or in spots prone to crimes like chain snatching, he would stay around for long time.
After this exercise, the crime graph indeed dipped to a great extent.
The police were able to prevent incidents of chain snatching, house break-in and robbery attempts.
Next, teams were formed and they checked the identity of outsiders or strangers and these interrogations fetched desired results.
The then police commissioner commended the team and handed over the recovered valuables to the rightful owners.
The exercise adopted by the police was simple. The then station house officer of S.S. Colony police station believed in visible policing.
The presence of police vehicle not only discouraged the offenders from committing any crime, but also instilled confidence in people who moved alone during night time, particularly womenfolk.
By watching the movements of strangers, simple interrogation would discourage them from visiting the locality, the officer would tell.
Two days ago, when a goldsmith was returning home, he was closely watched by a three-member gang at the busy Pacharusikara Street and after hurling chilly powder, the robbers fled with the 90 sovereign gold jewels. However, after a hot chase, the victim, with the help of public support caught the trio and the swift arrival of the police ensured that the accused were arrested.
The police interrogations revealed that one among the robbers had good knowledge about the movement of the goldsmith and had timed it well before attacking.
Visible policing in such vulnerable areas could chase away robbers or anti-socials.
The need of the hour is to intensify police patrolling and visibility in busy locations like Maatuthavani bus stand, Railway junction, Periyar bus stand and in interior locations of major residential colonies.
When contacted, a police officer in the patrol team said that they have a grievance without being redressed. Apart from shortage of personnel experienced, the team members were made to work for 12 hours now, which was eight hour duty earlier. The top police officers can also consider giving more two-wheeler patrol vehicles with communication gadgets, as they can criss-cross into narrow pockets and by-lanes, he suggested.