Dysfunctional e-beat system contributed to rise in crime
The e-beat system of the city police was a great initiative to bring accountability in night patrolling. But, in the last two months, it has stopped working. And, this is being misused by those who want to play hooky.
Under the e-beat system, the night beat police had to swipe their smartcards at various fixed points in the city instead of signing the conventional logbook to confirm their presence — in other words, show that they are on their beat.
Spike in crime
But the e-beat system has not functioned in the last two months, contributing to a spike in crime. The Police Department has failed to renew the contract for the system, which was meant to bring transparency and accountability.
And now the police appear to have become laidback and negligent. This has also led to hassles with night beat policemen setting up check posts (nakabandis) at every nook and corner on the pretext of maintaining law and order.
Higher officials concede that lower rung staff manning these check posts extract money from drunken drivers and shops and commercial establishments violating the 11.30 p.m. deadline. Recently, a few police personnel were suspended on this score.
Stringent measures by the traffic police to curb drunken driving have helped the night beat police to, well, make the most of it. It is mandatory for them to seize the vehicle and issue notice to erring drivers to appear before the court. This is misused by the night beat police who intimidate the motorists, wresting hefty bribes from them saying they are saving them time and the ignominy of court appearances.
The police’s administrative section cites helplessness. “We have taken strict action whenever we receive complaints against erring police personnel,” was the bland comment of a senior police officer.
Bangalore ranks 16 among the 53 mega cities in terms of cases registered by the National Crime Record Bureau in 2011.
It reported the highest incidence of cheating (3,155 cases), robbery (783) and preparation and assembly for dacoity (342) among the metropolitan cities.
Bangalore also features among the police districts that have recorded more than 10,000 IPC crimes during 2011 with 30,283, and ranks third in the list. Another worrying statistic is that of reported violent crimes, where 11.8 per cent of the total crimes in Karnataka were classified as violent. This accounted for over 10,000 reported cases last year.