Residents of Domlur were flummoxed when plainclothesmen claiming to be police officials arrived on their doorstep earlier this month and asked them to fill a form containing personal questions on their daily routine.
“What time do you go for a walk?”; “How many members are there in your family?”; and “Who will be at home when you are away?”; were some of the questions posed to the residents.
Homemaker Lakshmi Mani was obviously uncomfortable sharing such personal details with apparent strangers.
However, she soon learnt that the probing questions on her family were part of the City Police Department’s Crime Prevention Month activities held in December each year.
Though the purpose of the exercise is to step up security in the area as part of the Crime Prevention Programme, the residents confessed that they were uneasy about revealing personal information.
Another resident in the area, businessman Santhosh Hegde, said a couple of people in civil dress, introducing themselves as policemen from Ulsoor police station, handed over similar forms to the residents.
“However, they said they would collect the forms the next day. If they had immediately demanded the submission of the forms, then I too would have been concerned,” he added.
Mr. Hegde found certain questions rather intrusive. “They asked us basic details and also whether we knew which police station numbers to contact in case of an emergency in our area. But, they also wanted to know what time I moved out of the house and who are the family members at home when I am away. These were perhaps not necessary,” he said.
When The Hindu contacted Ulsoor police station, the officials said the plainclothesmen sent to the houses of residents were indeed police officials. “They had been sent to talk to the residents and get an idea about the level of security in their respective areas,” a police officer said.
A senior police official said the city police observes Crime Prevention Month every year in December, which also includes holding awareness programmes and competitions throughout the month.
However, he said personal questions need not be entertained by the public.
“The month is observed mainly to reduce crime and create awareness about it. There is no need for questions that are personal in nature to be asked.”
City Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji had attended a crime prevention programme held on CMR College premises in HRBR Layout on Thursday.