Over the last few weeks or so, practically every motorist on the road past 11 p.m. has had one experience in common — being stopped and having their vehicles checked by the police.
To prevent crime and enhance security across the city through visible policing, the police force has recently strengthened its night patrolling initiatives.
The decision was the outcome of a review meeting held recently by city police commissioner S. George, along with V.A. Ravi Kumar, additional commissioner of police (headquarters), and Karuna Sagar, additional commissioner of police (traffic), and other senior officers.
The objective of the initiative is to utilise existing manpower, infrastructure and vehicles attached to the crime, law and order and traffic units, to curb crime and the movement of criminals.
At the meeting, it was decided that all the three wings of the police would work together in the night and focus on vulnerable areas through the strategic deployment of patrol vehicles.
Also, ensuring that police officers were available across the city between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. would make it easier for residents in need to approach them. A detailed plan was then chalked out, keeping in mind the availability of personnel and the 184 patrol vehicles the force has. Under the plan, policing was scheduled in three shifts.
Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., the traffic police would be positioned at 114 places in the city to check violations including drunken driving. Between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., 60 patrol vehicles would be positioned in places vulnerable to crime and the police would conduct vehicle checks. At the same time, the traffic police would augment the law and order and crime police in conducting effective checks, by keeping an eye on anti-social elements, and concentrating on drunken and rash driving.
Other patrol vehicles and personnel would be stationed in crime-prone areas and would monitor locked houses, visit apartment complexes, alert private security companies in residential areas about potential threats, supervise ATMs and banks and be on call to reach any scene of disturbance within minutes.
Between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., all junctions of strategic importance would be patrolled. This is mainly to enhance vigils at all entry and exit points of bordering districts, deter suspicious movement of vehicles and create a feeling of security amongst residents, a senior police officer said.
In the wake of the recent bomb blasts in Bangalore, the commissioner also reviewed the city’s security arrangements. He insisted that all police personnel should be on constant alert for any kind of suspicious activity.
He stressed the need for the strengthening of intelligence at all levels, providing adequate security arrangements at vital installations, places of worship, shopping malls, markets, bus stands, court complexes and places where people congregate in large numbers.
Mr. George also emphasised the importance of regular lodge checks, vehicle checks and surveillance of railway tracks. He also insisted that officers hold regular meetings with various associations including those of mall owners, theatre owners and residents.
Further, the functioning of existing CCTV cameras should be reviewed periodically, he said.